KAMPALA – The state Minister for Animal Industry Mr. Bright Rwamirama has noted that the locusts have been laying eggs and should the latest eggs hatch, Uganda may be faced with an outbreak.
The minister made the remarks on February 18, while he was addressing the press at the Uganda Media Center in Kampala.
According to Rwamirama, the swarms of locusts continue to spread to other districts in the region and laying of eggs is expected to continue while other locust swarms are still invading Uganda from Kenya.
“It is worth noting that a female locust lays at least 300eggs in one sitting and will lay eggs three times in its lifecycle,” he said.
Rwamirama said that the existing locusts have not caused significant damage to vegetation cover however, there’s is an imminent threat to food security following a possible outbreak.
“The nymphs and young desert locusts (mainly pink in colour) that will come after the first hatching are the most dangerous since they have a high need for food,” he told the media.
He added that the threat caused by locust invasion is to food Security.
Rwamirama said the ministry of Agriculture has adopted measures to curb the locust innovation including coordination of relevant stakeholders from the respective ministries, departments and agencies, development partners and all other stakeholders.
“Surveillance teams working hand in hand with the support of UPDF in the region are assessing the traveling patterns of the first swarm to construct maps of sites where the eggs have been laid,” he said.
According to the minister, chasing the adult desert locusts can make it more difficult for the control teams to fight them in massive swarms since they can easily separate into more swarms.
He said, ” The two aircraft for aerial spraying will be in the country before the first hatching and will be loaded with the pesticides needed in the control of the locusts.”
On February 9, 2020, swarms of locusts entered Uganda through Amidst and now been sighted in 8 districts; Abik, Kaabong, Nakapiripiriti, Amidst, Agago, Kole, Katakwi and Nabilatuk.