Desert Locusts

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) has warned that there is a pending locust invasion from Mandera County in Kenya.

The Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture, Maj. Gen. David Kasura-Kyomukama said the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) forecast on Desert Locust released on 31st October, 2021, Desert Locust swarms are still active in Mandera County in North East Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.

In February 2020, Uganda confirmed the invasion of Desert Locusts in some parts of Amudat, Nabilatuk and Nakapiripirit districts after ravaging several parts of Kenya. The country witnessed five waves of Desert Locust invasions from 9th February, 2020 up to October 2020.

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Since the outbreak, the government through its agencies stepped up control measures which included rapid spraying in all affected areas with both manual and motorized pumps and sensitization of people. The existing swarms however didn’t cause significant damage to the vegetation cover.

“It is worth noting that Uganda successful controlled Desert Locusts and averted a potential loss of over US$800M arising from protection of food and cash crops in the affected areas and efforts assured food security,” he said.

Earlier today, the development partners, the Government of Japan and FAO Uganda availed key items to control of Desert Locusts. The items include motorcycles, spray pumps, surveillance kits, Double Cabin pickups, trucks and other vehicles and equipment.

JICA Senior Representative Mr. Fukuhara Ichiro said; “Japan’s long standing cooperation with Uganda is well documented; we have over the years jointly implemented various development projects that have positively impacted the Agriculture sector.”

“The agriculture sector is considered the backbone of Uganda’s economy, not only contributing the biggest share to Uganda’s GDP but also being the biggest employer of Uganda’s labor-force it is therefore incumbent upon all of us to work at ways to develop the sector.”

Recently, JICA implemented the promotion of Rice Development Projects (PRiDe) phase one and two in Northern Uganda farmers Livelihood improvement project (NUFLIP) Phase one and two, and two projects on enhancing Diagnostic capacity for animal disease control.