The impact of armyworm on maize farmers in Mbulamuti Sub-County Kamuli District.
Inhemukazi, Bridget Hilder
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The aim of this study was to examine the impact of armyworm on maize farmers in Mbulamuti Subcounty Kamuli district. Well-designed questionnaires were used to collect data from 40 maize farmers who suffered from army worm attack the previous season. The respondents were selected by random sampling so as to avoid bias in the study.These data were coded and entered into SPSS (version 16.0) computer software for analysis. Results indicate the percentage of the males and females involved in maize production with the males dominating at 52% and females at 47.5 % out of the total 40 sampled respondents.There are various maize pests that attack maize crop is grown in Uganda and slightly more than half (52.5%) of the farmers’ crop was attacked by army worms maybe because it’s the most dangerous pest that infested the cereals this year. The effect of armyworm infestation can be as worse as no maize harvested however the majority (62.5%) of the sampled maize farmers registered poor quality maize yields that cannot fetch better market prices causing price fluctuation.Pest control is important to maize farmers since army worms are serious pests and destroys maize to the extent of farmers harvesting no maize at all therefore majority (62.5%) of maize farmers in Mbulamuti Sub county Kamuli district control army worms by spraying using recommended chemicals. Other farmers use trap crops such as spear grass to attract the army worms. Different maize farmers opt for their respective choice of army worm control and prevention mainly because it’s affordable (65%) to the rural households. Chi-square results show that the p-value of sex and level of education wasless than 0.05. This therefore implies that there was significant relationship between sex, level of education and the control strategy of army worms at 95% significance level.Diffusion of information and strategic communication with and within the farming community. This will allow the identification of the invasive pathways at an early stage of introduction of secondary pests and implementing, hence farmers’ preventive control can be effectively undertaken. Certainly the quality, relevance and accessibility of information would play a key factor in assisting the rapid control of a new pest incursion.