The mediterranean fruit flies, have ravaged citrus gardens in Nwoya
district. The flies cause the fruits to turn yellow and drop early.
Among the affected sub-counties are Lungulu; Kochgoma, Lii, Alero,
Purongo and Anaka – which has left a section of farmers counting losses.
Richard Okello, a farmer from Lii sub-county explains that he earns over at
least 1.5 million shillings from oranges but the flies have affected his income.
//Cue in: “My perennial citrus…
Cue out…yellow in colour.”//
Lucy Adong, another farmer in Kalang village in Kochgoma Sub County reveals notes that her half an acre of citrus field is already pest-ridden which has affected her
dreams of reaping big from the perennial crop.
The Kochgoma sub-county Agriculture Officer, Mark Maktunu says that the mated
female flies attack cultivated citrus fruits by laying eggs under the peel
or flesh of the fruit on a host plant, causing damages that lead to
significant economic losses.
//Cue in: “Citrus fruit flies…
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Philip Mungujakisa, a farmer facilitator with Midway Consultancy Firm &
Associates explains that the flies’ larvae hatch and burrow inside the fruit
flesh to feed on the pulp that renders it unfit for human consumption yet
citrus fruits especially oranges and lemons are an excellent source of
immune-boosting vitamin C.
//Cue in: “The Mediterranean fruit flies …
Cue out…and domestic market.”//
Mungujakisa advised farmers to practice good sanitation to get rid
of the decomposing fruits and mulching citrus gardens to limit alternative host
plants for the flies and their larvae.
//Cue in: “There should be…
Cue out…host plants for them.”//
Nwoya District Agriculture Officer, Alfred Kilama says that the extension workers are training farmers on integrated pest management and
biological control techniques.
He added that limited spraying of groves with targeted pesticide
and mass trapping technique (Pheromone Traps), best applied at
low pest levels to trap the male flies make females lay sterile eggs and
reduces the fly population.
According to Food and Agriculture Organization - FAO, citrus and
citrus products are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre
(non-starch) that are essential for normal growth and development and overall