Milk prices in Ankole sub region have gone up again following a prolonged dry spell in the area. In February 2017, the prices went up to 1,300 Shillings from Shillings 800. Now the prices have gone up again from 1,300 to as high as 1,800 shillings.
The items include; 16 bags of beans, 80 bags of posho and 85 kilogrammes of salt. Bwambara Sub County is among areas in western region suffering the consequences of the long dry spell. So far, famine has left twenty people dead and hundreds others have migrated to other areas.
Giving the example of Kenya, Dr. Modesta, said while semi-arid northern region was badly hit, the central, western, rift valley and southeastern regions were not. She said with good infrastructure linking the south with the north the food shortages in the northern region would have been managed.
A total of six tonnes of seeds supplied to farmers in Bukiro Sub County in Mbarara district under the Operation Wealth Creation OWC have instead been eaten. The seeds that included chemically treated one tonne of bean seeds and five tonnes of maize seeds were supplied to locals for this planting season.
For the last two weeks, Lango sub region has continued to receive considerable amount of rains. However, Frank Okot, a small scale commercial farmer says he is not sure whether the rains will continue. He says lack of information on weather changes has given them a big blow in the recent past, something he cannot take lightly.
In Ntungamo Municipality, a litre of milk goes for between 1000- 1300 Shillings, up from Shillings 800 - 1000. Medard Asiimwe, the manager at Fresh Milk Diary, says that a litre of milk on the farm has gone up to 750 from 470 Shillings in the last four months.
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.
Ntoroko district is prone to prolonged droughts which have affected cattle keepers whose basic source of livelihood is livestock. Statistics from the veterinary office indicates that least 2000 heads of cattle die each year due to lack of access to water.
The closed cattle markets are Majumbi in Rwebisengo Sub County, Makondo and Haibale in Kanara Sub County. These markets are often frequented on Mondays, Thursday and Saturday by traders from Bundibugyo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
After bearing the effects of the dry season, maize farmers in Masindi partly attribute the problem to unreliable weather updates from the meteorological department. The farmers say according to forecasts for the first season, rain was anticipated up to the end of June, which was not the case.
Only about 1,500 people in famine hit Karamoja region are being targeted with food support, according to the minister for relief, disaster preparedness and refugees. This is just a small fraction out of the 530,000 people at risk of starvation following the long drought in most parts of the country.