Dry Spell Leaves Ntungamo Pineapple Farmers Counting Losses

1939 Views Mbarara, Uganda

In short
A number of farmers interviewed by URN believe they have lost it all this season because of the inconsistent and intermittent rains.

 
Pineapple farmers in Ntungamo district are counting losses following the long dry spell that has taken a toll on their gardens.
 
Pineapple farming is a lucrative business in Itojo Sub county and farmers mainly survive on the business for household income.
 
The Pineapples are mainly grown in the parishes of Nyongizi and Buhanama.
 
The farmers usually make great proceeds from the business during the month of September when the rains set in.
 
A number of farmers interviewed by URN believe they have lost it all this season because of the inconsistent and intermittent rains.

Maurice Kanyankole, from Nyaruteme in Itojo Sub County, says that he was hopeful that the rains would come early but this has remained a dream.
 
He says that in the past, they used to start receiving rains in mid-August but he is surprised that the month of September has ended without enough rains.
 
He suspects that the encroachment on wetlands could be responsible for this.
 
 
Felix Baryamujura, another farmer says the presence of enough pineapples in his garden in the past would attract traders from as far as Kampala who would buy in bulk and enable him get money.
 
He says the ministry of agriculture should consider extending incentives which include cheap fertilisers and water for irrigation so that production is boosted.
 
Baryamujura says that in the past, he would at least earn three million shillings from his 4 acres of pineapples but this is not the case for this season.
 
Baryamujura says that he has not earned even one million shillings from his garden.
 
 
Medard Tumwesigye, from Kyangarangwa cell in Nyongozi parish of Itojo Sub County, says that the prolonged drought was a problem and that affected the pineapples.
 
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Anthony Byaruhanga, Secretary for production in Ntungamo district says that the decline in the harvest is beyond their control. He says that the rains that used to start as early as August, instead delayed up to the end of September.

Byaruhanga says that individual farmers must now look beyond rain as a source of water for their gardens but instead harvest water for use in the dry season.

He also revealed that farmers should also champion campaigns to restore depleted wetlands which he says may be responsible for the absence of rain.

 

Tagged with: ntungamo farmers

About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.