The cotton production in the Acholi sub-region is expected to increase this season because of the relative peace that has returned to Northern Uganda.
Johnson Okech, Manager of West Acholi Cooperative Union, says his organization is registering primary societies and the farmers a head of the planting season due in May and June. He says the West Acholi Cooperative Union currently has 4,200 member farmers who will receive seeds, pesticides and spray pumps to assist in their work.
Okech expects that at harvest time, the sub-region will reap at least 4,000 bales of cotton.
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Darius Ojok, a peasant farmer at Laminawino village in Paicho sub-county, Gulu, says he is eager to return to the cotton business after many years of displacement because of the civil war in Northern Uganda. He says profits from the cotton will help him pay school fees for his children and will help him restore his home.
Despite the enthusiasm at the resurrection of cotton production, a section of the farmers are pessimistic about the future. The skepticism particularly surrounds low cotton prices and the decline of cotton as a major Ugandan cash crop.
However Johnson Okech says the West Acholi Cooperative Union is not giving up on its quest to interest more farmers in cotton growing. He says there is a ready market for the cotton and profits to be made.
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