According to the Prime Minister, ‘Robinah Nabbanja’, Africa’s government has bought 23,000 litres of insecticides, also called Cypermethrin 5EC, to fight African armyworm.
This revelation was made by Nabbanja on Thursday while revealing a statement in Parliament on the invasion of the African armyworm that has ravaged crops in the nation.
While addressing the Parliament, the Prime Minister stated that the African armyworm had already invaded more than 40 districts, causing damage to crops and threatening livelihoods in the affected districts.
She stated that the administration has already purchased the pesticides suggested and is distributing them to the affected areas.
“The government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, has procured 23,000 litres of the recommended insecticide known as Cypermethrin 5EC and is distributing it to the affected districts to demonstrate its use for effective control of the pest,” Nabbanja told Speaker Anita Among’s sitting.
Furthermore, Nabbanja advised the affected farmers to spray the caterpillars with Cypermerthrin 5EC, mixing 100-120 millilitres of the pesticide in 20 litres of water for practical use.
However, farmers have also been advised to take safety measures in order to protect themselves against the side effects of the pesticide by putting on protective gear such as gloves, facemasks, boots and overalls, said Nabbanja.
She also stated that the Agriculture Ministry had received 100 motorized pumps and 200 sets of protective gears for use in the affected districts.
John Baptist Nambeshe, the Chief Whip of the Opposition, stated that while he appreciated the government’s help, the equipment and safety clothing may not be enough to service the impacted regions.
“We respect the 100 motorized pumps and 200 sets of protective gear, but honestly, what can they do against 40 districts? Two pumps per district are not enough,” Nambeshe said.
According to the State Ministry for Animal Industry, Bright Rwamirama stated that the equipment is just an addition to the equipment which is already in the society that his ministry has been supplying to the districts.
Rwamirama urged farmers to keep away animals from feeding on the sprayed farms for at least three days to avoid disclosing the chemical.
“The good news is that the pesticide works immediately, and the chemical is biodegradable. If you leave it for three days, it will not affect human beings and animals,” he said.
The attack of the African armyworm, scientifically called Spodoptera exempt, is currently spreading quickly because of windy and dry weather.
So far, the invasion of the African armyworm has been confirmed in districts of Mukono, Wakiso, Katakwi, Bukedea, Bugweri, Mityana, Kiryandongo, Luweero, Nakapiripirit, Bulambuli, Oyam, Kiruhura, and Nwoya among others.
The most affected crops include; maize, millet, sorghum, wheat, sugar cane, and pastures.