An estimated 900 vegetable farmers in Agoro Sub County, Lamwo district have lost several acres of vegetable crops to a strange disease for the last two seasons. The vegetables most affected by the disease are; cabbages, eggplants, garden eggs and tomatoes.
Farmers say the disease which was first detected in April 2020, attacks the roots or fruits of the crops, causing wilting of the whole plants when still young.
Denis Ocan, one of the affected farmers said he planted two acres of tomatoes and two acres of cabbages, but were all destroyed by the disease.
“These tomatoes and cabbages would have collectively fetched me 20 Million Shillings from our local markets here,” Ocan said.
Francis Todwong, another farmer says he planted two acres of cabbages from which he expected to earn 12 Million Shillings after selling in the neighbouring Kitgum district. While his destroyed acre of eggplants would earn him an estimated 3 Million Shillings.
Todwong says the disease also destroyed his crops in the first season, where he had injected 1.2 Million Shillings in opening and planting his vegetables.
According to Todwong, they alerted their district agricultural officer about the strange disease in April last year, but they are yet to be given a solution.
Allan Ocaya, the chairperson of Agoro Cooperative Society, says the group that has 32 members lost 10 acres of crops to the disease.
According to Ocaya, all members of the cooperative society and individual farmers who use Agoro Irrigation Scheme to water their plants have been affected.
“All the vegetables we planted such as cabbages, tomatoes and eggplants dried up before or immediately after sprouting or bearing fruits,” Ocaya said.
“Even after spaying the crops, there was no improvement. We estimate the loss by the disease to the cooperative to about Shs 40 million.”
Cyrus Komakech, the Lamwo District Agricultural Officer, says he has not yet received any report about, adding that he will visit the affected farmers to ascertain the kind of disease affecting their crops.