Sulaiman Mwangu, a coffee farmer in Nakabango village in Mafubira Sub County says he has lost about one acre of his plantation to the pest.
Dr. Stephen Kiwemba, the Acting Jinja District Production Officer, says the problem has already been brought to the attention of the Uganda Coffee Development Authority – UCDA. Kiwemba says a combined team of UCDA officials and those from his office have already visited the affected areas for an on ground assessment.
The Black coffee twig borer first attacked coffee plantations in Bundibugyo district in 1994 before it spread to central Uganda. In 2008, the pest was reported in Kayunga district and now has spread to districts of Busoga along Lake Victoria and River Nile. The affected farmers are found in Butagaya, Budondo sub counties in Jinja district, Kisozi, Namasagali, Nawanyago, Bugulumbya, Kitayundwa and Namwendwa sub counties in Kamuli, and parts of Luuka and Mayuge districts.
James Magona, the UCDA coordinator in charge of Busoga region says Butagaya, Budondo, Kisozi and Namasagali sub counties are the worst hit. He says at least more that 15 farmers in each sub county have lost more than an acre of their coffee plantations. He urges farmers to burn the infested coffee plants, ensure field hygiene and spraying as emergency control measures.
Magona attributes the rate of the spread of the disease to lack of knowledge and capacity amongst farmers to control it