Dairies Run Dry as Drought Hits Ntungamo

1959 Views Ntungamo, Uganda
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Milk supplies to dairies in Ntungamo district, are running low as the drought reaches fever pitch. Cows in Ngoma, Rugarama and Rukoni the sub-counties, both in Ntungamo and Kamwezi in Kabale district are no longer producing enough milk to meet the consumption demands. Milk supplies to Ntungamo Diary Cooperative Union which collects milk from the farmers in Kabale,Rukungiri and Ntungamo, has dropped from 28,000 liters per day to just , 19,800 liters. John Magezi, the assistant Diary Manager, says that if the dry spell continues, milk supplies could completely collapse. The dry spell was first felt in February forcing farmers to migrate in search of water and pastures. John Kyokwijuka, a pastoralist in Rubaale says that the grass has dried up. The district has also witnessed a sudden surge in the number of pastoralists looking for pastures and water. The authorities there attribute the surge to a decree passed by Rwandan government chasing away all the pastoralists with long horned cattle's (local breeds). Majority of them have entered Uganda and are suffering with their herds. Anita Kyokwijuka, from Rubaare, says that grazing animals in the district has become expensive and some farmers have resorted to maize brands as alternative food for the cattle. In Ntungamo, the price of milk has gone high from 400-450 shillings per liter. Recently, the Uganda Meteorological center announced that drought would hit the country and advised farmers to prepare for it.