The new maize varieties are not resistant to the army worms
Fall army worms have attacked new maize variety on trial at Abi Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute in Arua under National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO).
Much as farmers consider learning at NARO’s Abi Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute in Arua, farmers were shocked to see fall army worms attack the new maize variety on test.
The new varieties being tested are WENA 2114, Longe 6H and Bazooka which were attacked by army worms. Farmers drawn from the eight districts of West Nile underwent a one day field tour learning session on the new crop varieties at NARO in Arua on Friday.
According to agricultural experts conducting research at Abi, the new maize varieties are not resistant to the army worms and it only needs to be sprayed.
David Edaku a farmer noted that, the best way to control the army worms is to practice early garden opening and early planting which deters the worms from attacking the crops.
Edaku wondered why the Bazooka which is the tolerant variety to worms is being attacked.
Awori Eres Kuteesa a research officer explained that the crops are not resistant to the worms and as much as spraying is done, the crops don’t recover fully.
She noted that there is need to remove those completely destroyed by the worms from the field to deter further spread.
Peter Dibele the Arua Resident District Commissioner appealed to the farmers to practice large scale farming to fight hunger brought by the long drought which hit the region.
He noted that the recent outbreak of army worms in the country has greatly contributed to food insecurity especially where maize has been destroyed.
Dibele also urged the farmers to work hard and earn house hold income.
“Our men have resorted to charcoal burning and use the money for drinking. They leave women to struggle alone searching for food, yet they keep producing more children” Dibele noted.
Coupled to charcoal burning, the RDC warned the people of West Nile to desist from bush burning which he said has greatly contributed to destruction of natural cover affecting soil nutrients.