NEMA Issues Guidelines For Rice Growing In Kalangala

1836 Views Kalangala, Uganda

In short
Among the guidelines, the farmers must obtain licenses before growing rice on any island within the District and, all rice growers must have secured land not within forest reserves and the buffer zones.

The National Environment Management Authority-NEMA has issued guidelines on rice growing in Kalangala district.

On Tuesday, rice growers from the seven sub counties stormed the district headquarters protesting a ban on rice growing that was instituted through an ordinance passed by the district council.

Following the protest, NEMA, the Environmental police and district authorities met rice farmers and set guidelines aimed at protecting the environment.

Among the guidelines, farmers must first obtain licenses from the district production department before growing rice on any island within the district and, all rice growers must have secured land not within forest reserves and the buffer zones.

The rice growers have for the past three years cut down trees from National forest reserves on Islands of Bunyama, Bugaba, Bubembe, Bukasa and Buwuvu to plant rice thus affecting Kalangala's climate.

Taire Idwege, Environmental Police Commissioner, says that rice farmers should follow the new guidelines or else they will be evicted if they encroach on a forest reserve or wetland. 

//Cue in: "Ensozi bazitemako emiti
Cue out: … tukyali wano era Tujja komawo,"//

Maurice Bafirawala, the Kalangala District Forestry Officer says, no one will be allowed to grow rice in 200-meter buffer zone. He says that the move is aimed at securing breeding places for aquaculture.

//Cue in: "Naddala abalima omuceere
Cue out: … tukendeza okulima omuceere,"//

Wilberforce Kakooza, the Secretary Finance says that the district doesn't gain anything from rice growers directly since government in 2013 abolished tax from Agricultural produce.

According to records from the district forestry officer, up to 7,000 acres of forest cover have been cleared by the farmers for rice growing.