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Agoro Cooperative Society loses vegetables worth Shs 40m to strange disease

Members of Agoro Cooperative Society in Lamwo district have lost about 10 acres of crops amounting to an estimated Shs 40 million to a yet-to-be identified disease.

The disease, which mostly affected cabbages, tomatoes, eggplants and garden eggs (locally known as entula), affects the roots of the vegetables, causing wilting of the immature plants and fruits.

Allan Ocaya, the Chairperson of Agoro Cooperative Society told theCooperator that they started noticing the infection in December last year.

Ocaya says the farmers did not see any improvement in the health of the crops even after spraying them with insecticides.

Denis Ocan, a member of the cooperative, said that apart from the loss he has incurred as a member of the cooperative, he also lost two acres of his tomato crop and another two of cabbages to the disease.

“I had hoped to earn Shs 10 million from my tomatoes and Shs 10 million from the cabbages as well,” Ocan said.

 However, Francis Todwong, another member of Agoro Cooperative Society, who also grew his vegetables individually, says he first detected the disease in April 2020. He says he invested Shs 1.2m in opening the land and planting his vegetables in the first season, but all the vegetables dried up. 

In the second season, he planted two acres of cabbages and two acres of eggplants, but they have also been wiped out by the strange disease.

“I expected to get 12 million shillings from selling my cabbages in neighboring Kitgum district and 3 million shillings from eggplants. Unfortunately, all have been destroyed,” he said.

Todwong says that he alerted the District Agricultural Officer of Lamwo district after the first season for guidance on how to deal with the disease that was ravaging his crop, but is yet to receive a response.

Attempts to get a comment from the District Agricultural Officer were unsuccessful as he did not respond to our phone calls by press time.

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