Farmers in the districts of Kabarole and Bunyangabu are counting losses after a prolonged dry spell hit the area.
Hundreds of acres of maize have been affected with some farmers saying that they anticipate food shortage in the near future.
James Mugisa, a farmer in Karambit sub-county in Bunyangabu district says that he injected sh4m to prepare a garden and grow maize on 3acres but it all dried up.
” I hoped to earn sh7m to sh9m after harvesting my maize that I grew on three acres of land with the money I got as a loan from Centenary Bank but it all dried up and am now stuck with how am going to pay it back,” says Mugisa.
Abigail Kusemererwa from Kazingo Fort Portal city north division says that she received 50kgs of improved maize from the City Woman Member of Parliament, Linda Irene hoping to harvest at least a tone of maize though now counting losses.
” I planted the first crop at the beginning of April, but in May when it was flowering and about to start producing the pods, the crop dried up,” Kusemererwa says.
” I have never witnessed a total crop failure like the one which happened this season because of a prolonged dry spell in this region with favorable climates ever” adds Kusemererwa
Richard Baguma a dry produce dealer along Mill lane in Fort Portal city says that due to the dry spell, a kilogram of maize flour now costs between sh3500- 4000 from sh2000 last year.
” It’s hard to get good quality maize flour since most farmers have resorted to harvesting the premature maize and drying them and selling it to earn a living,” Baguma says.
Salvatore Abigaba, the district production officer said that normally, rains in the region subside after the month of May but this time around, rains stopped in late April which has affected some farmers who sow late. Abigaba says that almost 60% of maize in the area dried prematurely and this is due to climate change resulting from wetland encroachers.