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Karamojong Urged To Grow Hay Grass Feeds 

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By Simon Peter Tumwine

With the high value of silage, Senior Pastor of the Miracle Centre Cathedral Robert Kayanja and owner of Gold Medal farm in Kiryandongo, has rallied Karamojong farmers to plant hay grass for silage feeds, especially during the prolonged dry spell in the Karamoja region to feed their animals.

Senior pastor of the Miracle Centre Cathedral Robert Kayanja showing Karamojong farmers part of the forage grass that is planted at the farm for animal consumption. Photos by Simon Peter Tumwine

Speaking during a Karamoja farmer group visit to his farm on November 15,  Kayanja said he planted over 150 acres of hay grass as he prepares for the inevitable prolonged dry spell that usually hits Kiryandongo district, and this is the kind of preparation that Karamoja needs to fight hunger and famine. 

Senior pastor of the Miracle Centre Cathedral Robert Kayanja and Karamojong farmers passing past a cow drinking water. This was during an official visit by Karamojong farmers visit to Gold Medal farm in Kiryandongo district.

“We always expect drought, hunger and famine in Karamoja, but we do not plan for it,” he said. 

Just like Kayanja planned dry grass for his cows, Karamoja can also do the same. 

Senior Pastor of the Miracle Centre Cathedral Robert Kayanja with a grazing stick and Karamojong farmers inspecting a tomato garden at the Gold Medal Farm in Kiryandongo district.

“We have seen the past prolonged drought where people lost animals. We were lucky that we didn’t lose any animals at the Gold Medal farm because we had prepared for silage and hay grass for the animals during the rainy season,” Kayanja said.

According to a report released by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in 2019, more than 7,000 animals died in the Karamoja sub-region as drought hit the area forcing many pastoralists to move for long distances in search of water and pasture. 

Senior Pastor of the Miracle Centre Cathedral Robert Kayanja interacting with Jacob Yeno a farmer from Nakapiripirit District as other farmers look on. This was during an official visit by Karamojong farmers to the Gold Medal farm in Kiryandongo district.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) statistics, Karamoja holds at least 19% of the national cattle herd of 16 million cows. This means that there are an estimated 3 million cattle in Karamoja. 

Karamojong farmers showing affection to cows at the Gold medal Farm in Kiryandongo as Pastor Robert Kayanja looks on Photo by Simon Peter Tumwine

Kayanja noted that a cow feeding on silage can consume 60kgs a day and produce much more milk and beef compared to other ordinary cows.

Andrew Loucho Moti, a farmer from Napak district taking a look at the shredded elephant grass at the Gold Medal farm in Kiryandongo district.

He said that agriculturalists have come to realize that traditional grass has run its course, the soil and climate have changed and the traditional grass can no longer survive.

Pastor Robert Kayanja and some of his employees organising silage at the farm.

“For our animals to survive, we need hybrid grass. The local grass can no longer withstand the weather conditions and the soils,” Kayanja said.

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