Unlike in the previous years, farmers in Acholi Sub Region would start opening their farmlands between the months of late January and March ready for the first planting seasons which starts by mid-March every year.
But this year, the majority of farmers in the region have not started ploughing their farmlands and preparations for this year`s planting season citing projected aridity.
Farmers in Acholi Sub Region have expressed worries over the
unpredictable weather conditions ahead of this year`s planting season.
Unlike in the previous years, farmers in Acholi Sub Region would start opening
their farmlands between the months of late January and March ready for the
first planting seasons which starts by mid-March every year.
But this year, the majority of farmers in the region have not started ploughing
their farmlands and preparations for this year`s planting season citing
They expressed fears over the changing weather patterns which they say is
unpredictable and may leave them counting losses as it had been last year.
Last year almost all parts of the Acholi Sub Region experienced too much
rainfall which was accompanied by hailstorms until in the late December.
This destroyed a number of crop gardens including cassava, beans, yams, sweet
potatoes and maize although rice farmers yielded big.
But this year the weather pattern has changed with too much scorching sunshine
and too much heat since January up to the month of March yet farmers were
expecting early rainfalls to facilitate growth of their first seeds.
Geoffrey Opiyo, a farmer in Latoro Sub County Nwoya district told URN that he
has already opened up 18.5 acres of his farmland to plant ground nuts and rice
but the sunshine has left him puzzled and not he is not ready to put seeds in
//Cue in: ‘’we have prepared…
Cue out: …sign of rain’’//
Opiyo who had planned to plant ten acres of rice and 8.5 acres of ground nuts
explains that his crops require much rainfall yet this is not the case this
Last year he realized 80 bags of rice from his five acres’ garden but he
believes that this may not be the case this year.
//Cue in: ‘’but it was…
Cue out: …planted those varieties’’//
John Bosco Oloya, a farmer in Pabbo Sub County Amuru district on the other hand
has not started opening his garden this year basing on the fact that there are
no signs of rainfall.
He had planned to plant beans, maize and rice but he says he is now stuck and
undecided on whether to wait for the next planting season which starts in
//Cue in: ‘’this season we…
Cue out: …our rice accordingly.’’//
Last year Oloya harvested nine bags of rice from his five acres’ gardens out of
the expected 20 bags, he attributes this to the adverse weather
//Cue in: ‘’if you compare…
Cue out: …the seeds from.’’//
George Komagum, another farmer in Lagak Village also in Amuru district has
already cleared two acres of his garden for this planting season but he is
adamant to plant his seeds because of the too much sunshine and unexpected
Komagum equally fears that his seeds, resources and efforts will go to waste
since there are no signs of rainfall as experienced in the previous years.
In Omoro district, Janet Akello, a farmer in Bobi Sub County has not bothered
to open up her farmland due to fear of wasting money and seeds.
Akello told URN that she had a nasty experience last year when her four acres of
groundnuts and beans were soaked and destroyed by floods and hailstorms due to
Nighty Ayero, another farmer in Omoro appeals to the government to step up the
sensitization of farmers on weather and climate changes for better planning and
But, William Bongomin, a farmer teacher with Capable Uganda urged the farmers
to embrace the use of weather Applications and make wise choices on the types
of what crops to plant and when depending on the weather pattern.
Lillian Nkwenge, the Principal of Public Relations for the Uganda National
Meteorological Authority (UNMA) advised the farmers to embrace the use of the
Weather Information Dissemination System (WIDS).
WIDS is an Application developed by UNMA in partnership with Makerere
University to help ordinary users to monitor weather forecasts.
The Application is accessible on all types of mobile phones and computers. For
one to access on a mobile they are required to type*255*85# and follow prompts.
The five options include selecting a language of convenience, name of the
district being sought, duration of the forecast, forecasts sector including
crops, livestock, water, health and disaster management. All the
selected options come with advisories.
Each request costs between 160 to 300 Shillings charged on the Short Messaging
Services-SMS. If connected on the internet, a person is also required to browse
through http://www.wids.mak.ac.ug/wids/ and follow the same options as applied
to mobile phones.
Mary Nsabagwa, the Assistant Lecturer at the Department of Computing and
Information and Communication Technology at Makerere University says that the
Application is effective and accessible on all types of mobile phones and
Emmy Daniel Ojara is a young journalist and has been practicing since 2013, during which he covered land rights violation in the contested Apaa and Lakang in Amuru as his first take ups while at Gulu Fm, Favor Fm and later Paidha Fm and Speak Fm where he is still attached.
Human rights abuses and denied access to land by security and government agencies has been the major aftermath of the contest over the lands. The underprivileged such as women, children and the elderly faced challenges in accessing soc