Additional Consignments for Desert Locust Control Airlifted to Karamoja Sub-region

Kampala, 10th February 2020. Additional consignments of pesticide and spraying equipment have been commissioned at the Kololo Airstrip in Kampala by Hon. Henry Aggrey Bagiire the Minister of State for Agriculture.

With more supplies being delivered and surveillance teams already on the ground in Karamoja Sub-region, the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries hereby advises the public as is required by the procedure for crisis management.

About the Control Operation

This operation is being undertaken by an Inter-ministerial Team coordinated by the Office of the Prime Minister and led by the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries.

The surveillance and control teams are also being supported by the Uganda People’s Defense Forces.

The operation is also being supported by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations as well as the Desert Locust Control Organisation for Eastern Africa.

Details about Desert Locusts

The desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) which is locally known as emaathe, enzige. and enzigye in some regions is a swarming short-horned grasshopper in the Acrididae family.

As the world’s most dangerous migratory pest species, the desert locust reproduces rapidly, migrates over long distances and has the ability to change behavior and appearance under particular environmental conditions.

The desert locust is herbivorous and can stay in one place for 17 hours and if strong enough can move over 3,000 miles in it’s lifetime covering an average of 50 to 300 kilometers per day.

Desert Locusts can multiply 10 to 20 times per generation and an adult female will lay up to 900 eggs in 3 months.

A swarm size of a square kilometer also consumes 100 to 160 tons of vegetation (crops and pasture) per day.

Desert Locust movement is determined by wind patterns and availability of vegetation since they primarily feed on green vegetation.

An adult desert locust eats an amount almost equal to its weight of 2 to 3 grams per day.

The Desert Locusts migrate in swarms of between 40 to 80 million locusts and some swarms can be made up of as many as a billion locusts.

They feed on virtually anything green from crops and pastureland to forest cover and can cause massive destruction of green vegetation including crops.

Notes for editors

About the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF)

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries is a Ministry in the Government of Uganda charged with creating an enabling environment in the Agricultural Sector.

The Ministry formulates, reviews and implement national policies, plans, strategies, regulations and standards and enforce laws, regulations and standards along the value chain of crops, livestock and fisheries.

Vision: A competitive, profitable and sustainable agricultural sector.

Mission: To transform subsistence farming to commercial agriculture.

Strategic Objectives

  • To initiate the formulation and review of the policy and legal framework for the sector
  • To establish and implement systems for service provision in the sector
  • To strengthen and implement strategies, regulatory framework, standards, institutional structures and infrastructure for quality assurance and increased quantities of agricultural products to access and sustain local, regional and export markets
  • To design and implement sustainable capacity building programmes for stakeholders in the agricultural sector through training, re-tooling, infrastructure, provision of logistics and ICT
  • To develop strategies for sustainable food security
  • To develop appropriate agricultural technologies for improved agricultural production, productivity and value addition through research
  • To develop effective collaborative mechanisms with affiliated institutions and
  • To take lead and establish a system and institutional framework for agricultural data collection, analyses, storage and dissemination to stakeholders including Uganda Bureau of Statistics.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) is made up of four Directorates including the Directorate of Crop Resources, Directorate of Animal Resources, Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services and the Directorate of Fisheries Resources each with Departments, Divisions and Partnership Projects.

The Departments of the Ministry which do not fall directly in the above include the Department of Agricultural Planning and Development, the Human Resource Department, the Department of Finance and Administration and the Department of Agricultural Infrastructure, Mechanisation and Water for Agricultural Production.

The Ministry is also made up of seven Agencies including the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), Cotton Development Organisation (CDO), Dairy Development Authority (DDA), Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) and Coordinating Office for the Control of Trypanosomiasis in Uganda (COCTU) and the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Databank (NAGRC&DB).