Sheema farmers battle with banana disease
Written by David Gwenyemera on June 10, 2021
Farmers in Sheema district are expressing concern over a strange Banana disease outbreak.
The disease that makes the banana turn colour and harden, has been reported in Rugarama, Kasaana, Kigarama, Masheruka sub counties and Kakindo Town Council.
Zeferiyano Byaruhanga, one of the affected farmers in Nyakanyinya II in Kasaana Sub-county, says the bananas turn black or brown while the leaves dry up.
Byaruhanga intimated to our reporter that the disease was first noticed in September last year but disappeared and has returned, and now it is affecting almost every plantation in the area.
Juma Mushabe, the LC I Chairperson Bigona II in Rugarama Sub County, says the disease is wiping out banana plantations in the village, but they have only been advised that the only available remedy is to get rid of the infected plantation.
Sheema District Senior Agricultural Officer, David Twinamatsiko confirms the outbreak, identifying it as Black and Brown Rust thrips.
Twinamatsiko also says the disease is transmitted by the wind, farm tools or Thrips, which eat and peel off the outer skin of the banana finger exposing it to fungus, and is common during the dry spell because when it rains the flies or fungi is washed away leaving the banana clean and safe.
Twinamatsiko says currently, the solution is removing the buds of the bananas two weeks after flowering, sanitizing farm tools with jik, eliminating the affected plants and burring or destroying them completely.