Bukedea Farmers Hunt for Seeds as Rains Return

1974 Views Bukedea, Uganda

In short
Currently several households in the district have reported barely surviving on one meal a day.Bukedea, just like most parts of Teso is recovering from a long drought which led to poor or no harvests.

Lack of seeds could become an issue as farmers in Bukedea district struggle to shake off the current food shortage.
  
The rains have returned after a long dry spell in Teso sub region, but many farmers have no seeds for early planting.
  
Currently several households in the district have reported barely surviving on one meal a day.
Bukedea, just like most parts of Teso is recovering from a long drought which led to poor or no harvests.
  
Four deaths were reported in July this year from the worst hit districts of Serere and Katakwi where the famine was nicknamed 'Edokolet'.
  
The four-month long dry spell stretching from March to late August 2016 affected the first farming season in the area, withering thousands of crop gardens of maize, beans, groundnuts, cowpeas and cassava among others.
  
With farmers in the region currently rushing to use the available rains to recover from the food shortage, Patrick Olila the Bukedea Chief Administrative Officer, says the acute shortage of seeds for farmers may aggravate the already fluid food crisis in the district of 203,600 people.  
  
Our freelance reporter visited Aloet Market this week and the food prices are shooting up. A basin of dry cassava chips is at 17,000 shillings; a tin of sorghum at 3,500 while that of beans is at 9,000 shillings. A kilogram of peas is at 4,000 shillings among others.
  
Micheal Ongole, the NRM chairperson in Bukedea district says much as the rains have returned, it is still early to rule out the fact that food shortage is still hitting hard at Malera and Kolir sub counties.
  
In Kamon village, in Bukedea sub-county, Patrick Akol a resident says so far guavas act as lunch for his family but is decrying lack of fast maturing seeds to take advantage of the current rains.
  
URN reporter met several people carrying Mango and Citrus seedlings they received from Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) Program at a distribution point in Kamon Primary School.
  
However Joyce Amongin, one of the beneficiaries says much as the Mango and Citrus seedlings are key in improving household income in a long run, she appeals to government to relieve Bukedea residents with fast maturing seeds to address the current hunger situation.