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Farmers in Ankole hit by dry spell

Good old days. The dry spell means such harvests have dwindled

Mbarara, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Farmers in the Ankole region are counting losses following the long dry spell that has taken a toll on their crop gardens.

A number of farmers say that they have lost it all this season because of the inconsistent and intermittent rains that have affected their crops.

Akampurira Silvano a maize and beans farmer in Rwahi Rwentobo town council says he lost five acres of both beans and maize. He says that he invested 3.7 million shillings expecting to harvest more than 25 bags of beans in vain.

Gideon Bantuki, a cereal farmer from Rwakitami Cell in Ngoma Sub County Ntungamo says he planted 15 acres of sorghum, finger millet, beans, and maize with an investment of 8 million shillings on a piece of land that he hired.

He says he lost all the gardens to the dry spell noting that he doesn’t have money to invest in the coming season.

John Bageiga, a farmer from Karuyenje village Mbarara District a banana farmer says the production of bananas has reduced to the extent that he now produces less than 50 to 100 bunches a month.

John Tugume a fish farmer from Bugashe Village says they have now decided to sell immature fish because the ponds have dried up.  He says this has affected his returns compared to the investment.

According to Tugume, the fish that he used to sell for 10,000 shillings now goes for 4,000 shillings.

Enock Kireego Beronda a farmer from Mwizi village in Rwampara District says the drought has not only affected cereals but also coffee production.

Esther Atwine the Ntungamo District Agricultural Officer admits the reduction of food production but blames it on the land that has lost its fertility due to the dry season.

She says they have this season managed to record 362 million tonnes of Matooke, 18 million tonnes of beans, and 31 million tonnes of maize.

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