By Barak Tukashaba
Rukungiri district has received caterpillar pesticide and spraying pumps worth sh850m from the ministry of Agriculture, Animal industry and Fisheries to help in eradicating the caterpillars which have devastated crops in the district.
This comes after Rukungiri municipality MP Hon Roland Mugume Kaginda donated 5m to the Municipality to fight caterpillars Rukungiri district production officer; Zepher Karyeija said that the caterpillars were first sighted in subcounties of Nyarushanje, , Kebisoni and Buyanja before they spread to Rukungiri Municipality.
He said that the caterpillars have caused much panic to farmers as they see crops for income generation. “Most farmers depend on these crops entirely so when such disaster comes in, our farmers panic a lot,
so let us join hands and save the situation” he said.
They invaded gardens feeding on cassava leaves, yams, bananas, cabbage, mangoes, sweet potatoes, coffee and other agro-forestry shrubs.
While giving out the pesticide yesterday to the sub county chiefs from the affected areas the district chair person; Andrewson Katebire asked them to be responsible people and spray rapidly to the most affected farmers.
The senior entomologist officer; Lilian Kukunda advised the farmers to always spray pesticides in the evening in order to keep useful insects such as bees live.
“Not all insects are harmful, we have insects like bees so endeavor to spray in the evenings so as to save the useful insects” she said.
She also asked the sub county chiefs to sensitize the public not to consume the sprayed plants before two weeks and one week in the affected areas.