Farmers in Katakwi district have asked government for fast growing and maturing seeds as they prepare to receive first rains after a long dry spell. Close to 8,000 households or 45 of the district population of 165,000 people are surviving on just a meal a day.
Farmers in Katakwi district have asked government for fast growing and maturing seeds as they prepare to receive first rains after a long dry spell.
The district is among the worst hit areas by food crisis emanating from low crop harvest last year. Ngariam, Magoro, Palaam, Kapujan, Usuk, Ongongoja and Katakwi sub counties are the most affected areas.
Now the farmers are demanding for seeds of crops that can mature fast in the first season.
Simon Edue, a resident of Katakwi Sub County noted that the food shortage is slowly worsening. He appealed to government to intervene and provide them with food relief.
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John Peter Otworot, a farmer in Ongongoja Sub County urged residents to store the little food stuff they have kept and also reduce on the amount of food they eat to escape the crisis.
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He says he has already cleared and prepared his gardens waiting for the first rains.
Otworot intends to plant beans that can mature in 72 days.
Johnson Emaju, a resident of Usuk Sub County wants government to supply to the affected residents both relief items and fast growing seeds. Emaju says usually they would get the first rains in late January or early February.
Walter Okiring, the Katakwi district chairperson says much as the affected residents should be provided with relief food items, seeds for fast maturing crops should be prioritised.
Close to 8,000 households or 45% of the district population of 165,000 people are surviving on just a meal a day.
Okiring says the district is also grappling with very high cost of food items as a result of low harvest last year. He encouraged farmers to prepare their gardens ahead of the first rains.
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Musa Ecweru, the Disaster Preparedness Minister says preparations are underway to support the affected residents with fast maturing seeds once the rains have started.
For the past two days the district received some rains soaking the dry dusty land causing excitement among local residents.
In 2016, Katakwi district registered over 80% crop failure due to the unpredictable rains and long drought that hit the area during first and second planting seasons.