By Stephen Nuwagira
Tick resistance to acaricides is one of the main challenges faced by dairy farmers in Ibanda district and in other parts of Uganda.
This challenge, though, could be due to ignorance on the part of farmers as well as poor application of acaricides, according to one expert.
Dr Generous Behanura Bekunda is the head of Uganda Prisons farms. She says some farmers switch from one acaricide to another of the same class and then complain of tick resistance, claiming the chemical was fake.
For instance, if you change from Noratraz to Sangatraz, the ticks will not die because they have the same chemical composition, and are only differentiated by trade names, she adds.
Some farmers go for cheap acaricides, which end up being ineffective against ticks.
Dr Bekunda was speaking on Friday (September 8) during a dairy farmers’ clinic organized by the Archdiocese of Mbarara Development Association (AMDA) and Ibanda district production department at Kihani Catholic Parish in Ibanda district.
The sensitization was part of the activities for AMDA’s annual caravan, now in its ninth edition.
The group conducts outreaches, each in different districts across the archdiocese, to sensitize communities to empower and inspire them to be self-reliant and peaceful.
Speaking during a session on animal management and care, Bekunda advised the farmers to always consult vets to guide them on which chemicals to use and how to apply them.
Herbert Tweshengyereze, a farmer, testified to having been one of the ‘culprits’, adding that he was saved by a training on proper use of acaricides four months ago.
“I was using a chemical of a higher class, but it was never effective, forcing me to add some pesticide to kill the ticks,” he admitted.
“However, after the training, I switched to that of a lower class and it has been effective since then.”
Tweshengyereze called for more sensitization drives to help farmers understand better approaches for tick control.
Dairy farming is one of the leading enterprises promoted by the district authorities, with coffee and banana production being the others.
PHOTO CAPTION: Dr Generous Behanura Bekunda demonstrates a point using one of the acaricides for tick control. (Credit: Stephen Nuwagira)