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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Plant clinics now an Asset to the farmers.





Plants clinic activities rocked high during the farmer’s market information symposium. This was realized during the market information symposium held from 24th-25th at Kisinga play ground Kisinga sub county Kasese district. This was the second symposium of its kind in Uganda, it’s meant to bring buyers and farmers together. The symposium was co-organized by RIC-NET and KRC with support and funding form FIT Uganda and Agric-Pro-focus Uganda. The theme of the symposium was “promoting farmers entrepreneurship through the provision of sustainable market information services to enhance competitive trade”. Agric-Pro-Focus work with individuals, groups, companies and organizations like HIVOS, SNV and Oxfam working in the agriculture sector.
 The Doctors were Mr. Asaba Wilberforce, Ms. Biira Astaluzi, and Ms.Walina Juliet who operate daily in the markets of Ksinga, Mpondwe and Kinyabisiki respectively in Bukonzo County in Kasese district.Plant doctor were able to attend to 372 farmers for two days.
Below is the summary of what happened at Plant clinic stole.


Number of farmers involved.

Crop samples
Disease and symptoms identified
Female
Males
Total
Beans
Leaf wilting, Injury o leaves, Growing points etc due to feeding damage
121
46
167
Maize
Leaves: vein yellowing, inter-vein yellowing, leaf yellowing, yellow blotching of leaves, yellow mosaic of leaves, leaf curling, leaf crumpling, leaf vein thickening, leaf elations, leaf cupping,
122
71
191
Banana
Banana bacterial will, with yellowing of leaves and stunted growth.
89
172
161
Cocoa
Seeds on flower covered to dark spore mass
23
44
67
Ground nuts
Stunted growth and yellowing of leaves. Nematodes and fungus on the leaves
111
79
190
Mangoes
oranges
Falling down by ripening, others splitting leave large opening.
34
41
75
pawpaw
Bacterial and fungus
02
09
11
cassava
Cassava mosaic begomo viruses.Symptoms;Stunting,Mosaic,Choloris Leaf distortion, ‘Candle stick
135
69
204
pineapple
Stunted growth
17
45
52
Cabbages
Bacterial, warms, fungus and nematodes.
21
09
30
Other vegetables.
silvery, curved larval mines on leaf underside, Leaf shedding, feeding tunnels visible on the stems, Leaf yellowing, Stunted growth & eventual  mortality
34
11
45

Note: These figures depend on the information the farmers were giving to the Plant Doctors during the entire exercise. The figures apply to particular crop(s) on the prescription form(s) from the Plants Doctors during the two day market information symposium.
According to the chairperson LC III Kisinga sub county Mr. Chance Kahindo, mentioned that “this is a big relief that NGO’s have come in to supplement the work the government had intended to do but due to other factors it has not been done”. Farmers have most often been frustrated by pests and disease which have led to low output per acre. Farmers too expressed their heartfelt gratitude to these plant doctors have are volunteering to offer service to the farmers. “it was not heard off that plants can also be taken to the clinic”. They thanked RIC-NET for giving these people knowledge and skills to help. The chairperson LCV Kasese on the same stole mentioned that farmers should utilize these people well, support them.
However these plants Doctors who have for the past 2 years been helping farmers voluntarily are not facilitated to keep moving from village to village educating farmers on better and improved methods of farming. Some time they have received resistance from some local government personally thinking they are disrupting their activities. Some farmers mentioned that it would be ideal for the government to take on plant clinic activities and those that have already done the work and have the skills should be give the chance and opportunity to work with the farmers at the grass root level. Could this be a thought by the Kasese District local government to take on Plant Clinic activities?