By Rosemary Tukundane
About 50% of coffee gardens in Kakumiro have been attacked by the black coffee borer.
Farmers said that despite the use of pesticides supplied by government, the pest has not been eliminated.
The black borer affects the coffee trees mostly in the dry season, Hajji Tinkasimiire said. Most trees dry and shed of the coffee beans prematurely.
The adult coffee twig borer is small, shiny black insect that is oval in shape. Only female beetles cause damage to the plants by boring into the tissue of the host. They bore through the xylem into the twig pitch.
This pest has destroyed 50% of people’s coffee in this district leading to loss of income and set back in coffee production in the district.
Another farmer, Mukama Patrick said farmers have failed to take back their children to school because most of them depend on coffee.
Agriculture is the main economic activity in Kakumiro district. Other crops cultivated are maize, cassava, cocoa and matoke.
Over 1.8 million households in Uganda grow coffee and coffee contributes nearly a third of the country’s export earnings paying for critical infrastructures like hospitals, schools and roads.