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Friday, August 19, 2011

OUT BREAK OF CROP DISEASES FRUSTRATES NAADS PR0JECT




In the on-going baseline survey conducted by RWECO – (Good Hope Foundation and RIC-NET) in the Rwenzori region; Bubukwanga SubCounty in Bundibugyo District to be specific, monitoring indicates that a number of challenges are frustrating the NAADs project; according to the Chairperson Sub County Farmers Forum Mr. Tibamwenda Smith, limited ownership of the enterprises/project by the farmers, inadequate knowledge on crop growing /animal rearing especially of the improved NAADs reeds,conservativeness of the benefeciaires to grow only traditional crops even though they do not yield much, delayed release of funds/enterprises and out break of crop diseases are some of the challenges frustrating the project.

Mr. Tibamwenda revealed that at times funds/enterprises are released after the planting or rainy season leaving the farmers frustrated especially if had already prepared their gardens.

Commenting on the out break of diseases, Tibamwenda cited banana wilt as the biggest challenge affecting the farmers’ plantantions. He noted that, the Sub County in the finacial year 2000/2009 started a banana plantation as a demonstration site at the sub county premises. The species of banana grown were kitika, gonja,and mpologoma among others.
In 2009, the sub county started harvesting bananas from the garden and would sell them at prices ranging from 5000 to 8000shillings a bunch. The money collected was usaully deposited on the Sub County NAADs account and later used to settle other finacial demands in the sector.
Unfortunately, these good yields have since 2010 been frustrated by banana wilt disease that has since seen all the plants rotting away. Despite the farmers’ efforts to cut down the affected plants, the disease has contiued spreading further and eaten up the whole one hectare banana plantation.
According to Mr. Tibamwenda over 150000 shillings had so far been realized from the sales.

Its worth noting that following the various changes in the implementation of the NAADs project; NAADs phaseI and NAADs phaseII, a number of achievements have been registered ranging from transperancy in the procurement process, and in the selection of benefeciaries as well as enterprises to increased coverage in the number of benefeciaries.

However, there is need for the NAADs project to beef up her interventions in addressing crop diseases least the whole project is frustrated by the same.