Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, announced that the government was going to fund the research into banana wilt and cassava streak diseases.
On Wednesday Yoweri Museveni met with district chairpersons, farmers and ministry of Agriculture officials, Chief Administrative Officers, district agricultural officers and extension workers. The meeting took place at Mbale Resort hotel, and the meeting is where he made the announcement that the government would fund the research.
According to All Africa, the growing of crops is being hit with diseases and in turn affecting incomes of households, and even creating a famine threat.
Museveni told the agriculture ministry to give researchers funding, so they can find out what caused the problem and eventually come up with a solution. He went onto say that communities will be taught what they can do to prevent the diseases from spreading.
The Cassava Brown Streak Disease is hitting the Great Lakes region of East Africa. Uganda is not the only country being hit hard with the disease, as Congo, Rwanda and Burundi are affected by the disease too, according to VOA News.
The Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Regional Emergency Officer Jan Helsen issued a warning. Helsen said that the region can suffer extreme consequences if the disease is not stopped.
Helsen went on and said that if nothing is done about the disease, then the risk of having an epidemic is high. Food security would also be threatened, affecting millions of people.
Helsen said that the cassava disease has already infected around 80 percent of crops in Uganda and around 30 percent of crops in Rwanda and Burundi.
As far as the banana wilt disease goes, Museveni said that the government is currently working on a new banana variety that can resist banana wilt.
Komayombi Bulegeya is the commissioner for crop protection in the ministry of agriculture, and he said that more than 80% of farmers know how to keep banana wilt disease under control, according to News Vision. He also said that all farmers should try to get involved in controlling the disease, whether they are in affected villages or non-affected villages.