‘Why use dangerous pesticides when GM maize can help us fight fall armyworm?’ Ugandan farmers ask government

armyworm
Credit: Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International

Upon learning that one of the ways they could effectively deal with the challenge of the fall armyworm was using Bt maize, farmers in eastern and Northern Uganda asked the government to allow them to grow this maize.

“Why do we have to keep using dangerous pesticides when GM maize can help us fight this fall armyworm?” inquired Eseza Amoit, a farmer from Tororo district in Eastern Uganda. “Let government give us this resistant (Bt) maize and we test it,” noted Yeko Jetu another farmer from Kapchorwa district in eastern Uganda.

Their remarks reflected the general sentiment of the farmers in the eight districts where trainings were conducted. Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organization has developed maize varieties that effectively resist lepidopteran pests including fall armyworm. However, the general release of such genetically engineered crops is not yet permitted in the country.

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