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Caterpillars Ravage Tea Gardens in Zombo

Santa Fuanyir, a tea out-grower in Tengo village Zeu Sub County Zombo district says close to 500 tea plants have been destroyed by caterpillars.
The Loopier Caterpillar on a Tea Leaf in Zombo.

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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.

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…

Cue out; 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 these pests.

  // 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 be applied.

  // Cue in; It’s in such kind…

Cue out; we are receiving…. //  

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