Several farmers in Masaka are counting loses after their crops withered in the garden. They blame the development on counterfeit fertilizers and artificial manure. Recently, a group of farmers from Kabonera and Kyanamukaka Sub Counties complained to the district to intervene after their crops started withering in the garden. The affected crops include tomatoes, cabbage, coffee and banana plantations. Abdul Lubega, a resident of Bisanje village in Kabonera Sub County is one of the affected farmers.
Lubega claims he has lost an entire garden of tomatoes, and several coffee plantations. He explains that the tomatoes just dried up, while the coffee plantations are withering away. According to Lubega, at first he thought there was something wrong with his garden, but realized the problem was the NPK fertilizer and manure he had applied in the garden. Lubega says that he realized the problem because the plants in the areas where he didn’t apply the fertilizer were not affected. Musa Katongole, another resident says that his cabbage and banana plantations started withering after he applied some fertilizer.
Unlike Lubega who used NPK fertilizers, Katongole doesn’t know the type of fertilizers he used. Katongole says that he bought the fertilizer that was packed in used mineral water bottles from Masaka town. He claims that his crops started withering a few days after he applied the fertilizer. Katongole suspects the fertilizer could have been fake. Fred Kabango, the Masaka district Agricultural Officer says has visited some of the affected farmers in Kabonera and Kyanamukaka. Kabango says preliminary investigations show that some of the farmers used wrong pesticides while others got the mixture wrong.
Some of the commonly used fertilizers are NPK,CAN, BAP, liquid fertilizers, Decis among others. Jamil Miwanda, the Masaka LC V Vice Chairperson appeals to government to intervene and address the problem of fake farm implements. He says the affected farmers need sensitization on how best to use fertilizers.