Farmers in Yambio County of Western Equatoria State have expressed concerns after an unknown disease reportedly affected crop leaves and stunted growth.
The farmers said they observed between August and September that the leaves of their crops mainly the groundnuts wither at an early stage before drying up in the farm.
Anthony Ezekiel Ndukpo, the Chairperson of Yambio Farmers Agribusiness Cooperative said as of April 2023, the cooperative had planted ten hectare of groundnuts and ten hectares of maize in the first season which succeeded well.
“The first season was quite good, most of our people who planted the g/nuts succeeded well, and even the maize and the rest of the other crops it was good but just coming to the second season is whereby there is a problem,” he said.
Mr Ndukpo said in the second quarter of the year, they planted five hectares of groundnuts which, according to him, might not have germinated well because its leaves are collapsing.
“I don’t know what happened with the g/nuts, so everybody is complaining about the g/nuts. After planting the g/nuts, it germinates well but after a short time, you will see that the leaves are just collapsing.”
Western Equatoria State agriculture minister, Alison Barnaba also confirmed the crops failure, while speculating that it could be due to rising temperatures or a change of weather pattern in the state.
“The second season is not germinating well especially the g/nuts maize always germinate well and produce well the challenge we are having is only g/nuts you know there are a lot of warms,” Barnaba said.
“There is issue of dry spell in between and rain jumps from here and there. These are the situation causing some of the crops to not germinate well.”
“What could be possible is only we have to see the plantation season when do they plant that especially the second season it is very derogate because you cannot predicate the rainfall that it will be like this.”
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