Banana wilt strikes Arua sub-counties

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Banana bacterial wilt disease has broken out in Arua District, posing a threat to food security.

The District Agriculture Officer, Ms Getrude Badaru, told the press yesterday that the disease is affecting bananas in Logiri and Vurra sub-counties. She said the disease, that was detected early this month has spread rapidly destroying between 50 to 60 acres of banana plantations in the affected areas.

Ms Badaru blamed the rapid spread of the disease on farmers’ ignorance of the mode of its control. She added that the affected banana gardens are to be destroyed to prevent the spread of the disease. “Farmers have continued to use tools from one field to another without sterilizing them, an act that accelerates the spread of the disease,” she said.

A farmer, Mr John Andiga, said there was need for agricultural experts to educate farmers to reduce the spread of the disease. “They should not blame farmers because some do not know what to do to prevent the disease. Now this will affect the price of bananas, which people depend on for food,” he said.

A bunch of bananas costs Shs8,000 to Shs20,000 and there is fear that the price might rise. The last case of banana bacterial wilt was reported in Adumi Sub-county in early 2010.

View article on Monitor Uganda | pdf

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