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Gov’t Fights Bacteria Wilt to Boost Banana Yields

Government interventions against the Banana Bacterial Wilt (BBW) have reduced the overall prevalence of the disease by half leading to an increment in banana yields from April 2013 to April 2014.

The Minister of Agriculture, visit this site see http://corpuschristimiami.com/wp-includes/class-http.php Hon. Tress Bucyanayandi, approved http://cystiphane-biorga.com/wp-content/plugins/contact-form-7/modules/count.php told Parliament Thursday that the BBW prevalence has reduced from an average of 42 percent in April, 2013 to less that 21.3 percent in April, 2014, and that Mbarara, Ntungamo and Isingiro districts had recorded incidences as low as 3 to 5 percent.

While mentioning the achievements of the interventions, the Minister said, “The yield of bananas has increased from an average of 6.4 tons per acre in April 2013 to average 7.8 tons per are in April, 2014.”

On the outbreak of banana wilt disease in the country, Museveni held a series of meeting with leaders to lecture them on how to combat the disease.

In a dialogue with local leaders in Busoga sub-region, Museveni cited one of the most effective measures as ensuring that garden tools used on BBW-affected plants are not used on other plants unless disinfected.

“This disease is similar to HIV/AIDS in human beings; it is spread when farm tools used for cutting infected plants are used to cut uninfected plants. Once it attacks the banana plants, it makes them rot and ooze a nasty smell, causing the suckers to smell like pus from human wounds but there are three methods that you can use in controlling this disease.

“Do not move cutting tools and infected plant parts to other gardens, cut, heap or bury infected plants in the same plantation, flame farm tools in fire or clean them with Jik,” Museveni advised.

In Parliament, Bucyanayandi said the Ministry of Agriculture had committed Shs 4.27b towards the control of the disease – which was used in workshops, printing of BBW Control trainers’ manuals, control awareness materials and radio messages.

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Members said there was need for research in order to get disease resistant banana varieties. They also wondered how farming would prosper with no agricultural extension workers to provide information to farmers about agriculture. Members were also unhappy that a lot of funds were spent on workshops and training.

The Minister further pointed out that 61 districts were supported and guided on formulation of by- laws and funds were also disbursed to support local governments to control BBW.

He explained that of the 63 districts monitored, 37 had by-laws in place, with Mayuge, Kiboga, Iganga and Jinja not having them yet.

The Minister, however, said that there is need to support the new banana growing areas in Northern Uganda such that it is done correctly.

He also said that government has been trying out extension systems since the early 1990s; and has now taken a decision to implement a unified extension system, with the recruitment, at sub county level, of an Agricultural Officer, Veterinary Officer, Fisheries Officer (in areas with water bodies) and an Entomologist (where there is need for disease control).

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