Kabarole Farmers Turn To Renting Land, Count Losses

6416 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Farmers pay huge sums of money to rent pieces of land for agriculture. However they reap little if anything because of challenges such as pests and diseases, lack of market and unpredictable weather.

Scarcity of land for agriculture is forcing farmers in Kabarole district to rent it from land owners every season.

Several farmers lack adequate land for producing food crops for sale and home consumption. As a result, they pay landlords money per season, depending on the type of crops they have planted.

However, the farmers are spending too much money to rent land and yet they aren’t reaping from what they have grown because of problems such as price fluctuations, pests and diseases, unpredictable weather and lack of market for their produce.

Statistics at the district agricultural department indicate that 65% of the farmers in the district face a problem of scarcity of land to improve food production.

Henry Bahemuka, a farmer in Karambi Sub County says he paid 400,000 shillings to rent one acre of land to grow maize. He however says that the acre of maize was washed away by floods and he reaped nothing.

Bahemuka says the piece of land he owns isn’t enough to grow food on. He says this is the second time he has reaped nothing from his produce. He says that he isn’t certain whether his children will go to school next term, since he has been relying on the income from the produce.

//Cue in: “Paying owner of…
Cue out: …nothing from it.”//

Harriet Kemigisa, a farmer in Karambi says she acquired a loan, purchased maize seeds and paid 600, 000 shillings to rent one acre of land. However, the maize was destroyed by pests. She says she had hoped to harvest and service the loan.

Some of the farmers who don’t have the funds to pay for renting land are now stuck with some of the seeds and are in search for cheaper land.

 Moses Mwesige, a maize farmer in Kakonga, Rwimi Sub County, says that he is stuck with 50 kilograms of maize seeds because he has nowhere to plant them. He says the landlords charge 450,000 shillings per season, which he can’t afford.

//Cue in: “I don’t have land…
Cue out: …high costs of renting.”//

Martin Karugaba, the Chairperson Kabarole district Farmers Association, says more than 500 farmers lack adequate land for production. Karugaba says they plan to engage in dialogue with the landlords so that they reduce on the costs of renting out their land to farmers.

He also says the landlords should allow the farmers to pay half of the money and then the balance after harvesting.

Karugaba says the farmers association has raised 100 million shillings to purchase land and will be used by its members at no cost. He however says that money isn’t enough and wants the district agricultural department to contribute.


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.