Makerere University, KOICA in drive to promote organic pesticides
Pests such as aphids, moth, fall army worms and tuta absoluta, among others, are increasingly becoming common in the farming system. Some pests, according to scientists, are spreading fast due to effects of climate change such as high temperatures.
The danger is that pests get stuck on plants, especially the leaves, eat them up or damage them, which forces farmers to use the available agro chemicals to get rid of them.However, the practice later compromises the quality of foods for domestic and export markets when the chemicals are wrongly applied. For example, in 2019, the European Union threatened a ban on Uganda’s agriculture exports, composed mainly of vegetables on grounds that they had chemical residues and moths. The threatened ban forced the Government through the agriculture ministry to impose a self-export ban so as to address the challenge. Since then, the Government has been working on various measures to ensure proper application of agro chemicals on fruits and vegetables, in addition to inspections and monitoring to ensure that the withdrawal periods after applying agro chemicals onto plants is adhered to, among others. To further supplement government efforts, the South Korean government, through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in partnership with Makerere University’s College of Agriculture Research Institute Kabanyoro, have embarked on training farmers the importance of organic pesticides in vegetable growing and piggery.