Tooro King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV has directed district authorities to ensure that all households in the kingdom have granaries as a way of fighting food insecurity. In the past, granaries were one of the key trademarks in rural households. They were used for storage of dried foodstuffs like maize, groundnuts, beans and millet.
In the past, granaries were one of the key trademarks in rural households. They were used for storage of dried foodstuffs like maize, groundnuts, beans and millet.
Speaking to farmers at his palace in Fort Portal town, King Oyo said that the diminishing presence of granaries in many households is a recipe for food insecurity in Tooro. Using the Tswana proverb “famine hides under the granary" to emphasize the importance of a granary in a home, King Oyo said that during his several tours of the Kingdom, he has discovered that many homes no longer have granaries.
Oyo says that the granaries are considered a post-harvest method used to promote food security especially during cases of drought in rural areas.
King Oyo said that the district agricultural departments in Tooro and the kingdom authorities should carry out a campaign to promote food granaries. Oyo also said he is disappointed that the granary campaign he launched two years ago didn't bear any fruits.
Some farmers have welcomed the King’s directive. Francis Nyaika, a farmer from Butiiti in Kyenjojo district says that several households are selling off all their produce instead of keeping some for the emergencies like drought.
Nyaika also wants the district councils in Tooro region to pass a by-law, making it compulsory for all households to have food granaries.
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Margaret Tuhaise, a farmer in Rwimi Sub County, says that a granary is a must-have for all farmers in the flood-prone Rwenzori region. She says that during the rainy seasons, they are not sure of where they will store the next harvest.
Tuhaise says since the current generation of farmers does not know how to construct the granaries, elderly people in the kingdom should teach the communities.
King Oyo also told farmers that next month the Kingdom will establish Tooro Agricultural Board, which will oversee agricultural development in the region through educating farmers on better farming practices.
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), investing in post-harvest technologies to reduce food losses could significantly increase the food supply in sub-Saharan Africa. FAO also estimates that the value of post-harvest grain losses in sub-Saharan Africa is around 4 billion US Dollars a year.