June 17, 2013

Coffee Authority to Spray Busoga Plantations

The Uganda Coffee Development Authority-UCDA has announced plans to start spray coffee plantations in Busoga region next month to get rid of the coffee twig borer. According to UCDA the massive coffee spraying exercise will cover the districts of Jinja, Kamuli, Kaliro and Buyende that have been under attack from the Black Coffee Twig Borer since 2009. The pests have already devastated several acres of coffee plantations in Butagaya and Budondo Sub Counties in jinja district.

The pests have also spread to Buyengo, Buwenge and Busedde in Jinja district leaving more than 1000 coffee farmers counting losses. James Magona, the Busoga region coffee extension officer says they have received 420,000 liters of Imax liquid spray worth 54.6 million shillings from UCDA to spray coffee plantations in the region. He blames the fast spread of the disease on many host plants such as mangoes and Avocado. Magona explains that the Borer flies over 300 meters each day and can infest a garden within a very short period.

Daniel Muwanga, the Chairman Jinja Farmers Forum says they have already mobilized farmers ahead of the spraying exercise. Dr. Stephen Kiwemba, the Jinja district production officer says Imax has no negative effect on soil and other crops. He says the Coffee Twig Borer can also be controlled by destroying infested plants, routine weeding and proper crop spacing. However, Dr. Kiwemba says most of the measures have not worked out well prompting UCDA to consider massive chemical spraying.

Previously, Humidachropin chemical has been used for massive spraying in some parts of Uganda.

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