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Iganga District Local Government
Finance Department
Mandate of the department of production
      •   To ensure food nutrition security among the population
      •   To ensure income generation to the farming House holds
   
Strategies employed
•     Provide advisory services on production and marketing of crops and livestock
•     Provide support to farmers
•     Do surveillance of pests/parasites and diseases affecting crops and livestock
•     Provide diagnostic and treatment services to livestock diseases
•     Provide infrastructure that support production of crops and livestock
 
Provision of Advisory services
Iganga district currently is operating at a staffing capacity of 55%. The deficiency is most marked in the fish and vet departments. Also evident is at the headquarters where all heads are in acting position. However the district has secured funds and all positions will be filled hopefully by September 2016.

The farming Households that are directly or indirectly served by the department are 97565. The households that are served directly served are 25588. These farmers are either served in groups or as individuals. The rest of the households receive information from their friends who may have accessed information from extension workers.

The areas of advisory services are
• Agronomic practices which include; selection of good varieties of crops to plant, timing of planting in relation to the onset of the rains, soils management/application of fertilizers- (organic or mineral fertilizers);
• Crop disease and pest management/control.
• Cost benefit analysis of the various enterprises as this era of advisory services emphasizes commercialization of farming where farmers are supposed to earn 20 million shillings per annum
• Enterprise combination. This is in relation to availability of resources of farming household such as capital, labor, land, but also when considering the availability of market.
• Feeding in livestock
• Livestock disease management with emphasizes prevention practices
• Record keeping in livestock farming
• Treatment of diseases and parasites in livestock
• Commercial Bee keeping

 
Provision of support to farmers
The district works in conjunction with the national program of Operation Wealth Creation which supports poor farmers with planting and stocking materials. The aim of this program is to shift farmers from production for consumption (referred to as subsistence farming) to production for income (referred to as commercial farming). In Iganga support has been given to farmers in form of seeds, seedlings, livestock and equipment. The program is now in the 4th season since 2015 when it effectively began. So far close to 35000 farmers have benefited which is about 30 % of the farming households. The most important aspect of this program is the provision of fruit trees which stay for a long time in the field and farmers harvest from them for many years. The fruit trees and coffee are the main crops that have been identified to be propellers of poverty eradication in Iganga district.

Surveillance of pests and diseases in the district
Iganga district is prone to out breaks of epidemic plant pests and diseases. So far the outbreaks Iganga district has ever experienced are for the following pests/diseases
           •   Cassava Mosaic disease which occurred in the late 1990s
           •   Banana Bacterial Wilt Disease of bananas
           •   Cassava Brown Streak Virus of cassava
           •   Maize lethal necrotic virus
           •   Coffee twig borer of coffee
           •   Soya bean caterpillar

The above diseases are detrimental to the economy of Uganda in the sense that they affect the food security and income of both the households and the economy of the country. There are even more diseases and pests that attack a large area and a single farmers cannot control them alone and eradicate and this is what qualify the to be epidemics. The department does the surveillance to establish the extent these diseases /pests have spread, or have been contained or whether there are new diseases/pests that have come up.
 
The current status of the epidemics

Cassava Mozaic disease of Cassava
This disease still exists in the district but it is no longer a threat in that varieties that are resistant to it have been developed that are resistant to the disease. The pockets that still exist are for those farmers who prefer the taste of those old susceptible varieties and they would rather harvest little but when they have got some tasty food they want

Cassava Brown streak virus
The disease is still a big threat to the food security of the district. National Agricultural Research Organisation has developed a number of varieties which at first seemed to be resistant/tolerant but in Iganga district many of them have succumbed. This disease has caused yield losses of up to 90% in gardens where the attack has been seriuos. Currently there is only one released variety which is fairly resistant, though really just tolerant, called NASSE 14. Unfortunately the variety is in short supply in the district. Operation Wealth Creation supplied this variety to farmers in the first season of 2015, a consignment of 241 bags but this was a drop in the ocean. This consignment is now multiplying as the first crop has matured and is or has been harvested.

The current programs to increase the supply of the variety is by the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries through the Buginyanya Zonal Agricultural research Institute which will be providing multiplication sites of 1 acre per parish in the whole district.

Maize Lethal Necrotic disease
This is a new disease of maize It attacks maize at any stage of growth. When the attack occurs when the maize is still in the active growth (before flowering) there may be total loss. The disease has been identified in Nawanyingi sub county in a village called Bukonko, In Nakalama sub county in a village called Bukaye, In Buyanga sub county in a village called Buwaya and in Namungalwe sub county in a village called Namunkanaga and in Ibulanku sub county in a village called Buniantole. The control of the disease is limited to the sensitization of the public where the attack has been identified, to destroy the diseased plants by cutting and burning them.

The situation is not alarming yet as the surveillance is done quarterly and the necessary action is taken to contain the disease

Coffee twig borer
This is also a new insect pest of coffee. The adult insect bores into the young developing shoots, makes a tunnel inside the shoot and then lays the eggs at the end of the tunnel. The effect of destroying the tissue during the tunneling is the one which make the shoot to die and dry. The pest has spread throughout the coffee growing parts of the district. The interventions which have been done by the department is to sensitise the coffee growing population of the problem and to make them understand the mode of attack and how the pest reproduces. Recommendations for control have then made known to farmers of;

            •    To remove the shots which are drying so as to destroy the young developing insects which were laid in the tunnels inside the shoots
            •    To spray with a chemical called Imax so as to reduce the population of the adults which do the laying of eggs into the tunnels.
            •    Observation also reveals that despite the control measures that are being recommended to farmers, the rate of containment of the pest may not only be attributed to the recommendations. There are seasons when one hardly sees the pest and the yields for coffee are quite good. It may require to establish whether the pest may be having a natural enemy which may be controlling the pest population

Soya bean Caterpillar
This is an insect pest which attacked soya beans once in the season B of 2015. The insect pest was new and it had never occurred before. It was peculiar in a sense that soya beans is a crop which has not been having insect pest problems. A very fatal attack was found in Buyanga sub county in Kiwanyi parish , initially in a 10 acre soya bean field and later in scattered fields in the parish, where leaves, young developing pods and young shoots were being eaten up by the caterpillar. The damage by the time of intervention was already 50% but the caterpillars were still young and actively eating. If they were left to complete their life cycle the damage would reach 100 %. Later the pest was identified in Bubenge village in Igombe sub county in Nakalama sub county opposite Nakalama Primary school. The incidence was reported to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries which responded by providing Chemicals which were given to farmers to spray. The pest subsided as a result of the intervention but since then the department has been on the lookout for the pest outbreak.

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