By Namugerwa Martha
Variegated grasshopper pests have invaded various parts of Bushenyi District, destroying the green cover vegetation.
These pests have attacked plantations of tea, coffee, bananas and cassava that were already withering because of drought.
While talking to Kyamuhunga sub county chairperson, Ignatious Mushokye said that the multi-coloured crop pests have affected areas including Kyamuhunga, Bitooma, Ruhuumuro, Nyabubare and Kyabugimbi sub-counties destroying vegetation and crops.
“Ever since I started seeing these insects, they have been coming in small numbers during the dry season and go when rain sets in but this time it is too much. They have really come in large numbers and farmers have lost it all,” Mushokye said.
He added that farmers have tried spraying their crops with insecticides but their efforts have gone to waste since last month, Eucalyptus trees have also been affected by the same pests.
Amon Natwebembera, the district agricultural officer of Busheyi, said that It is true that the district is infested with the variegated grasshoppers which chew the green tissue of plants.
However, he added that the Ministry of Agriculture has provided some boxes of “Rocket” pesticide to the farmers as a demonstration and farmers can buy it in the open market so that to tackle the pests.