Caterpillars have ravaged tea plantations in Zombo district. The pests have defoliated the tea leaves.
Santa Fuanyir, a tea out-grower in Tengo village Zeu Sub County
Zombo district says that close
to 500 tea plants have been destroyed by caterpillars.
Gilbert Ayot, another tea farmer at Abanga tea plantation says he borrowed a loan of 4 million shillings to help in replanting the over 1,000
tea plants which were destroyed by caterpillars.
However, Innocent Onegiu, a community facilitator with Northern
Uganda Social Action Fund NUSAF III says a number of tea farmers are finding it
hard to expand their gardens for fear that the pests may spread to other areas.
“We have been encouraging these people to expand but they fear
huge losses due to further infestation of these pests. They have the resources
but others have already encountered financial losses due to the caterpillars”,
He says the pesticides being given by government under the NUSAF
III program are not adequate to control the pests.
// Cue in; our farmers who…
control these pests….
Deo Atwebembeire, a supervisor with Edwin Foundation, a private
tea partner from Western Uganda faults tea farmers for failing to maintain
hygiene in their gardens. He attributes the emergence of the caterpillars and
crickets to failure to promptly weed and burn weeds which have continued to harbour
// Cue in; That insect comes…
Cue out, and
weed master…. //
Patrick Aneniu, the District Agricultural Officer Zombo attributes
the problem to climate change characterized by heavy rains.
He, however, advises
tea farmers to use chemicals like lambda, roundup to control weeds which harbour
pests. He says traditional control methods such as physical crashing can also