By Grace Turyatunga
Kampala – The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has revealed that they are in need of up to UGX 16Bn to fight the latest swarms of locusts that have invaded three districts in the Teso Sub-region.
According to initial reports, it is stated that a new larger swarm of desert locusts invaded some three districts in the said region destroying several gardens of food crops.
“The country has been invaded by a second wave of desert locust swarms from Kenya that entered Amudat district on Friday, April 3. The two swarms that entered have further spread inland into Kumi, Katakwi, Otuke and Agago districts by April 6,” Agriculture Minister, Vincent Ssempijja.
In one the most affected districts, Kumi, the swarm stretched up to a distance of ten square kilometres and destroyed gardens of millet, cassava, green gram, sorghum and trees.
The Ministry of Agriculture has now called upon Parliament to approve the money to help in efforts to counter the locusts. The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has already initiated the spraying of the locusts in Teso.
“Government has so far mobilised UGX 22.0 Billion from its treasury and various development partners to facilitate the implementation of the Desert Locust Control Plan. The additional UGX 16.18 Billion approved by Cabinet has not yet been received from the treasury,” Hon. Ssempijja disclosed. .