The machine in Rwamabale was donated to the farmers by the National Agricultural Advisory Services - Naads in 2016 after the farmers requested the machine saying it will help them minimize the losses resulting from poor milk handling.
The district has 300 vanilla growers with the capacity of producing 6-tons of vanilla every season, according to retired Gen Alex Baguma, the chairman of vanilla growers in Ntoroko district. But Baguma says they have lost 5.9 tons of vanilla to thieves in the season between January and June 15, 2018.
Ntoroko District Veterinary Officer Patrick Bagonza says that 15,000 head of cattle have so far died. Bagonza says that the dry spell being experienced in the district is the worst in many years. The most affected areas include Bweramule, Kanara, Rwebisengo and Butungama Sub Counties.
Ntoroko district disbursed 532 Million Shillings to 67 selected youth groups in 8 sub counties as startup capital for income generating activities. 52 of these have made repayments to the tune of 499 million Shillings in a period of one year.
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.
Residents of Ntoroko district are crying out for help following floods that have ravaged the district. For the past two weeks, more than 1,000 families had been displaced by the floods after River Semiliki burst its banks. The displaced people are from the four sub counties of Bweramule, Butungama, Rwebisengo, and Kanara.
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).
Cattle keepers in Ntoroko district are facing problems of accessing water for their livestock. Some parts of the district which include Karugutu and Nombe have been experiencing a long dry spell for the past two months, which has left livestock with no water and pasture to feed on.