Serengeti — TERMITES have damaged thousands of artificial trees planted in Serengeti district, Mara Region. Local farmers here see the insects as a huge burden impeding the on-going afforestation campaign targeting tobacco growing villages.
"Termites cause problems here. You can plant 1,000 trees and later on remain with only 300 plants", Zacharia Nyansuku Magero, one of the affected farmers said when speaking to the 'Sunday News' in Rung'abure village recently.
Government experts described termites as dangerous for the growth of artificial trees. "Termites are not friendly to artificial trees. We must change to species that are not affected by termites", Mr Phares Mwasha, a senior forest officer at the Serengeti District Council said.
Alliance One Tobacco Tanzania Limited (AOTTL), a tobacco buying company which supports afforestation campaign in the district said it is ready to support production of natural species that are not prone to termites.
There are also reports that termites have destroyed a large number of trees distributed by African Barrick Gold (ABG) to public schools located near North Mara Gold Mine in the neighbouring Tarime district recently.