Farmers in Ongino Sub County in Kumi district are counting losses
after a strange disease ravaged cassava gardens.
The disease affects the plant as it matures causing the tubers to rot in the
garden. When uprooted, the tubers taste bitter with a foul smell.
Francis Okwakol, a resident of Oduka Village in Ongino Sub County says he has
lost four gardens of cassava to the strange disease. He says he just realized
the cassava disease attack in June and decided to check all the gardens.
According to Okwakol, when the fair tubers are eaten, it causes stomach upset
He adds that even its flour when mingled and eaten makes people
sick. According to Okwakol, all the cassava varieties including the old NASE 3
also known as Migera have been affected by the strange disease. Other new
cassava varieties grown in the district and Teso include NAROCast 1, NASE 14
and NASE 19 among others.
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Cue out…nu ore”//
Lawrence Iberut, the General Secretary in the village committee of Oduka says
the disease has affected more than 100 gardens of cassava in the area, pushing
several households into starvation. Iberut is asking for quick government
intervention into the cassava diseases crisis that he notes has already exposed
many people to hunger.
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Cue out…mam do ijeni”//
Currently, the district is investigating the cassava disease attack, which will
inform the next line of action.
During his visit to Teso, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal
Industry and Fisheries, Frank Tumwebaze said that his team will look into the
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Cue out…these machines”//
In Teso, cassava is the common staple food found in almost every
household. Besides its domestic use as food, the community also relies on
cassava for income.
The issue of cassava rotting started in Serere and Ngora districts
but this was attributed to the overgrown Migera variety that has supported the
region for close to three decades. The farmers in the Teso sub-region are,
however, shifting to new cassava varieties after registering low yields of