Poor Crop Yield Forces IDP Women Out Of Business

Audio 1

Small scale business women in Kitgum camps are out of business following the poor crop harvest last year. Crammed in displaced camps with insufficient food and income, a number of IDP woman told Uganda Radio Network that they opted to engage in the sell of produce to make ends meet.
But the poor harvest of last year has robbed them off their source of income. Josephine Apenyo a resident of Ogili camp in Palabek Sub-County says the poor harvest is challenging her efforts to maintain her business.
Apenyo says she used to sale greens and tomatoes but the food items are now scarce. She says they receive some stocks from people growing crops in wet lands, but they are few.
According to Apenyo, she stays over night in the garden to get some produce to vend because of the competition for the little supply. Apenyo says some of the people who realized a fair crop yield are reluctant to sell their produce because of fearing famine.
Apenyo, whose husband is ill, says that she finds it very hard to take care of her eight children, three orphans and her two nephews.
Only three people are operating in the market that initially had over 50 vendors selling different food items. Most of the stalls made of wood have been eaten up by termites, an indication that they have not been used for long.
Apenyo's business colleague, Dorine Alanyo of Lugwa Central Village says she too is facing the effects of bad weather. At 3:00 pm on Thursday, Alanyo said she had just returned from a garden in a wetland where she bought greens for sale.
Although she used to uproot the greens, Alanyo says the owners now want them to pluck the leaves and give chance for the greens to reproduce. Alanyo says prices of items like silver fish [Mukene] have gone up by Ushs. 2000.
She says men in the area have resorted hunting for wild game, which is preserved and eaten for weeks. Jacqueline Adong, a local brewer is totally out of business, as sorghum that is used to brew was badly affected.
She says the few farmers who have the crop just can't sell them. Godfrey Oryema, the Sub-County chief of Palabek Gem says the poor crop yields was caused by too much rainfall at the start of the planting season followed by constant sunshine.
Oryema says the problem was worsened by late distribution of seeds by different agencies. He says its only farmers who relied on relief seeds who were affected.
Oryema has appealed to responsible authorities, to continue distribute food items to the most affected, as they prepare to leave camps and embark on farming.