KAMPALA – Members of Parliament want the Ministry of Agriculture to come up with a clear strategy on how to eliminate the climbing yellow weed arguing that it will affect the state of food security in the country.
The MPs made the revelation during the 8thsitting of the 3rd meeting of the 3rd session of the 10th parliament chaired by the Speaker of parliament, Rebecca Kadaga on Thursday 24 at parliament.
The agriculture minister, Hon. Vincent Ssempijja was presenting a statement on measures taken by government to mitigate the effects of a yellow climbing plant reported to suffocate trees, food crops and perimeter wall fences.
He informed the House on the measures taken by Government to mitigate the effects of a yellow climbing plant reported to suffocate trees, food crops and perimeter wall fences. One of the measures mentioned is spraying with herbicides.
MP Mbale Municipality, Wamanga Wamai said: “our people are going to die of starvation if we don’t clear this weed. If there is no money, the ministry should come and request for a supplementary budget like we did when there was foot and mouth disease.”
Ssempijja said that government will plant fruit tree seeds that are not contaminated with dodder seeds. Wash pruning equipment with water before moving from infested to clean areas. Dispose of the water into a pit 60cm deep.
“Golden dodder has yellow to pale orange true stems, which generally don’t twine & attach to the host, but produce tendrils of similar appearance which form coils & a specialized root-like sucker that penetrates other plants & obtains water & nutrients from it,” Ssempijja noted.
Ssempijja highlighted that the weed attacks a wide range of naturalised species and native plants that are growing in grasslands, open woodlands, coastal vine thickets, gardens, degraded land, banks of watercourses and wetlands.
MP Woman Adjumani, Jesca Ababiku challenged government to come up with a comprehensive plan on how it is going to handle the problem.