WANTS 'SMART AGRICULTURE PRACTICES': Agriculture Minister Vincent Ssempijja.

Agriculture Minister Vincent Ssempijja has appealed farmers and other agriculture sector stakeholders to promptly report any suspicious sightings of the Army Worm to the District Agricultural Research Centers.

Addressing the media at Uganda Media Center today, minister Ssempijja said the Army Worm invaded some parts of the country due to the unpredictable climate.

He also said the country will experience other pests and plant diseases which feed on more than 80 plant species including cereals like maize, millet, sorghum, sugarcane, rice and wheat.

“The outbreak will have a negative impact on the nation’s food, nutrition security and wealth creation efforts,’’ minister Ssempijja said, adding that attacks by the Army Worm also affect the quality of agriculture produce including legumes.

The information comes in the wake of earlier reports of ‘black caterpillars’ attacking the maize crop in the districts of Kasese, Kayunga and Bukedea in the second season of last year.

It is said that the caterpillars lay up to 2000 eggs and have the potential to destroy one hectare of maize in 72 hours.

Meanwhile, the army worm has previously been reported in countries like Togo, Ghana, Zambia, South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Kenya.