Rwimi Farmers Sell Off Crop Fields amid Dry Spell

891 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Felix Irumba, a farmer in Kaina parish who has been depending on rice production to earn a living says that he sold four acres of his garden at 7 million Shillings to enable him pay school fees for four children in secondary school. He explains that maintaining his land during the dry spell is quite very expensive.

Small scale farmers in Rwimi Sub County in Kabarole district have been forced to sell off their crop fields due to lack of water for irrigation. They are now selling their fields to large scale farmers.

Rwimi Sub County borders Kasese district, which also experiences the dry spell. Gardens of beans, maize and rice have all run dry leaving farmers with nothing to sell or consume.

The farmers argue that the shortage of water has scared them into selling their crop fields for fear of incurring huge losses.

Statistics from the district agricultural department shows that more than 700 farmers have been affected by the dry spell.

Felix Irumba, a farmer in Kaina parish who has been depending on rice production to earn a living says that he sold four acres of his garden at 7 million Shillings to enable him pay school fees for four children in secondary school. He explains that maintaining his land during the dry spell is quite very expensive.

Irumba wants the government to provide them with soft loans to invest in irrigation facilities to help them minimize losses caused by the dry spell.

Sylvia Kabahenda, a maize farmer in Kakonga Parish says that in the past two years, she was producing enough food to feed his family and for sell. Kabahenda says that she acquired a 5 million Shillings loan to engage in maize production, but made loses when her three acres of maize field dried up.

She adds that last year, her harvests were too small forcing her to sell off her field to pay back the loan.
 
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Benon Tumwesigye, the chairperson of Rwimi farmers association says that the decision by farmers to sell off their crop fields may lead to food insecurity. He adds that several farmers lack techniques to irrigate their crop fields using water from the three small rivers; Rwimi, Nyamwamba and Ntabgoba.
 
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Salvatore Abigaba, the Kabarole district production coordinator says that the district cannot do much but advises the farmers to form associations and collect funds to purchase irrigation equipment or engage in water harvesting.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.