Uganda: Worms destroy potato fields

In the Ugandan districts of Bukedea and Kumi, a horde of strange green worms are ravaging hundreds of potato gardens, leaving the crop tasting bitter rather than sweet. learned from farmers that they first saw the worms three weeks ago. The pests have since eaten all the potato leaves and are now turning to the tubers. Mr Jude Ongota, the Bukedea District agricultural officer, identified the worms as the larvae of the potato butterfly, which feeds on the potato vines and can destroy an entire garden in a short time.

"We are appealing to the agricultural department to come up with solutions to these worms," one of the victims said. Farmers in the area are desperate. Those farmers whose potatoes have been affected are encouraged to dig them up in order to avoid total destruction.

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