Ankole farmers face prosecution over Banana Wilt disease fight
Posted Wednesday, January 30 2013 at 02:00
Struggle. Leaders say farmers from districts neighbouring Mbarara should step up the fight against the banana disease in order to ensure food security.
Authorities in Mbarara District have warned farmers against encouraging the spread of Banana Bacterial Wilt disease (BBW), which has destroyed plantations in Ankole in recent months.
During a field visit to Bucuro Sub-county, which had been hit by the disease on Monday, local leaders observed that farmers elsewhere had failed to follow the recommended measures to check the spread of BBW.
Bucuro and Mwizi sub-counties have shown signs of success in the fight.
“Enough sensitisation has been done on the control of the disease, now what remains is to arrest and prosecute those [farmers] who have failed to follow control,’’ Mr Nickson Kabuye, the Isingiro District Resident District Commissioner (RDC), said.
Mbarara enacted a bylaw two years ago to prosecute farmers who do not heed control and eradication measures recommended by agriculture extension workers. Several culprits have been taken to court and fined.
Mbarara RDC Clement Kandole said Ugandans were citing human rights to shield themselves from prosecution.
He, however, warned that laxity on the part of farmers would not be tolerated in the fight of the banana disease.
RDCs, farmers, CAOs, district chairpersons and extension farmers from Isingiro, Ibanda, Ntungamo, Sheema, Bushenyi, Mitooma, Rubirizi and Buhweju had visited Mbarara to learn from Bucuro success story in the fight against the wilt disease.
Mbarara District LC5 Chairman Deus Tumusiime said the neighbouring districts would be frustrating their efforts if they don’t force farmers to comply.