East Acholi is considered one of the cotton basket in Acholi sub-region. In 2020, cotton farmers in the districts of Lamwo, Kitgum, Pader and Agago, collectively produced 30,000 bales of lint according to statistics from the Uganda ginners and Cotton exporters association.
The heavy rains experienced in East Acholi last year has seen a
sharp decline in the quantity of cotton currently being harvested and sold
outside the region.
East Acholi is considered one of the cotton basket in Acholi sub-region.
In 2020, cotton farmers in the districts of Lamwo, Kitgum, Pader and Agago,
collectively produced 30,000 bales of lint according to statistics from the
Uganda ginners and Cotton exporters association.
Douglas Bhosopo, Coordinator of Uganda Ginners and Cotton Exporters Association
says that unlike the bumper harvest experienced in 2019/2020, the quantity of
harvested cotton is likely to be low this time.
Although he didn’t specify the exact quantity of cotton already being bought
from the farmers currently, Bhosopo hints that the turn-up is low compared to
last year around the same time.
He says thousands of hectares of cotton crops in the low lying areas within the
region were submerged in water following heavy rainfalls in September towards
late December leaving farmers unable to access their farms for weeding and
//cue in: “The excessive rainfalls…
Cue out…actually gave up.”//
Bhosopo notes some cotton farmers especially in Lamwo District are now adapting
to lucrative food crop growing such as sim sim, and thereby abandoning cotton
farming between June to August. A kilogramme of Sim sim cost between Shillings
3,500 to 3,700 in the open market compared to cotton which costs between
shillings 1,500 to 2,000 shillings.
//cue in: “As long as…
Cue out:…of the crops.”//
He also notes that a few farmers out of those they had expected to grow cotton
last year participated in the business, leaving a huge gap in the production of
cotton. According to him, at least 39,000 farmers received seedlings from them
but only 34,000 planted the cotton.
Innocent Kidega Nono, a cotton farmer in Orom Sub-county in Kitgum District
says he planted cotton on a 10 hectares’ piece of land but heavy rains affected
most of them.
Nono says he had anticipated harvesting 15,000 kilogrammes of cotton this
season but notes that the available cotton in his farm that can be harvested
and sold may only reach 2,000 kilogrammes.
He, however, says the continuous the fluctuating low price of cotton is greatly
affecting its production in the region.
//cue in: “Kadi ka bed...
Cue out:…messing dano out.”//
The Cotton Development Organization-CDO, tasked with monitoring cotton
production, processing and marketing in the country earlier issued out an
indicative cotton price at 1,500. However, in some ginneries and wholesale
stores, cotton is being sold between shillings 1,600 to 2,000 a kilogramme.
Farmers have now been advised to take the opportunity of the early planting
season this time around between March and June if they are to see a bumper
Orom Sub-County Chairperson Quirino Olum, alleges that some of the seedlings
supplied last year to cotton farmers in his area failed to germinate, a reason
that has contributed to low productivity.
Farmers within East Acholi were supplied with the high yielding QM301 and
BTA2015A cotton seedlings.