Farmers in Gulu are worried about the outbreak of fall armyworms (FAW)
in their maize crops in the gardens.
FAW also known as a butterfly is a pest of crops that attacks over 80 varieties
of crops including maize, sorghum, sugarcane, cotton, rice and wheat among
It feeds on large numbers on the leaves, tassels, stems and reproductive parts
of a plant that is at least two weeks old. Their damage appears as
ragged-edged holes on leaves, tassels and severe feeding may give the
appearance of corn that has been damaged by hail.
Lucy Lakot, a farmer in Gulu City says that the worm has in the last one week
infested and destroyed the stems and leaves of almost an acre of her maize
Lakot explained that the damages have left some of the crops withered, while
others turned yellowish giving her less hope that they will flourish and produce
She has been trying to manage the pests by sprinkling her maize crops with
ashes mixed with water however this has yielded her no fruits.
Jacqueline Aceng, another farmer wondered how the pests attacked
her maize crop gardens which she said she had maintained very well since the
seeds planting period.
Aceng was also applying ashes on the moths of her maize crops with hopes of
preventing the pests following advice from a colleague but this has been of no
Matthew Opiyo, a farmer in Bungatira Sub County is also crying out for help to
prevent the pest which he says has destroyed almost three acres of his three
weeks` old maize crops in the last two week.
However, Richard Sejjoba an agriculturalist from Agrithon in Gulu explains that
Fall Armyworm is a dangerous crop pest that massively destroys the inner parts
of the crops which give them the energy to grow.
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He advised that once their crops are infested by the pests, farmers should
spray their crops with recommended chemicals, and can also hand-pick. He
further rooted the need for early planting and pests’ resistant crops.
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The infestation of Fall Armyworms was 2016 registered in Uganda. The Food
and Agricultural Organization (FAO) report of 2018 says that up to 17.7 million
tonnes of maize could be lost annually due to FAW on the African Continent.
Emmy Daniel Ojara is a young journalist and has been practicing since 2013, during which he covered land rights violation in the contested Apaa and Lakang in Amuru as his first take ups while at Gulu Fm, Favor Fm and later Paidha Fm and Speak Fm where he is still attached.
Human rights abuses and denied access to land by security and government agencies has been the major aftermath of the contest over the lands. The underprivileged such as women, children and the elderly faced challenges in accessing soc