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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Farmers in Kisinga sub county appreciate having plant clinic.


“Healthy plants for a healthy future” is now the motto in Kisinga Sub-County Kasese District. Kisinga is located in Bukonzo County East. Speaking to some of the farmer’s on 11.11.11 during a field monitoring exercise of the Plant Clinic in Kisinga by the RIC-NET Community Out Reach Officer Kaliba Charles and Dr. Reeder Robert from Global Plant wise UK, the farmers expressed gratitude to RIC-NET and Asaba Wilberforce the Kisinga Plant Doctor for extending Plant Clinic services closer to them.
According to the Plant Doctor, Asaba Wilberforce, he noted that I attend to 25-35 farmers every market day and 10 farmers on a daily basis at the plant clinic in Kiburara trading center. The crops mostly affected and brought to the clinic for diagnosis are maize, mangoes, tomatoes, , beans, cassava, cotton coffee, and bananas. The farmers revealed that there biggest challenge is Banana bacterial wilt which has reduced banana production and led to continued poverty and hunger in the Sub County.
During the Plant Clinic operation, the team also learnt from the numbers of clients received that Cassava mosaic virus disease (CMD) caused by Cassava Mosaic Gemini viruses (CMGs) was the other commonest disease affecting the crops in the area second to bananas. This too has contributed to low yields at harvest time.


Besides, cassava, are beans which too are affected by Bacteria (the Black bean Aphid [Aphisfabae). that leads to stunted growth, yellowing and sometimes causes black spotting of leaves leading to extensive damage of the crops. Responding to the clients’ complaints, Dr, Reeder Robert, mentioned that currently there is no medicine to treat these cases brought to him especially the beans, bananas and cassava. He noted that Cassava mosaic cases can only be prevented by planting good and disease free stems. Dr. Reeder, advised the farmers on some best agricultural practices like planting disease free stems, suckers and seeds together with proper and timely preparation of the fields.
Other cases that were identified were on Mangoes which were observed to have black spots and splitting at a later stage. According to Mr. Muhindo, the infection had reduced yields per plant. They revealed that, previously from one mango tree, they would harvest around three basins per season but currently they harvest only one basin per season. Commenting on this, Dr.Reeder Robert explained that just as we Humans beings need daily medication attention so do plants; “We should not wait for the whole field to be destroyed before we take action” he asserted.