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Drought Lowers Soya Bean Production in Omoro District :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Drought Lowers Soya Bean Production in Omoro District

According to Oyet, the district recorded 1.26 million metric tons of soya beans produced by farmers in the district in 2019 alone. In 2020, the production increased to 1.31 million metric tons and further grew to 1.37 million metric tons in 2021.
A man points at his soya beans garden in Lalogi Subcounty, Omoro District. Maost farmers in the district suffered heavy loses in the first farming season due to prolonged dry spell.

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The prolonged drought in the Acholi Sub-region has seen a sharp decline in the production of Soya beans in the first farming season.

Omoro District, one of the model areas for Soybean growing was particularly hit hard with the majority of farmers left counting losses following poor harvest. 

At least 80 percent of farmers across the district cultivated soya beans this first farming season, owing to its lucrative market locally and nationally.

Godfrey Jomo Oyet, the District Production Officer says at least each household in the district had planted two acres of soya beans but bad weather affected harvests.

He says, unlike the past years in which farmers registered bumper harvests of soya beans, the production of the cereals has been significantly low due to changes in weather.

According to Oyet, the district recorded 1.26 million metric tons of soya beans produced by farmers in the district in 2019 alone. In 2020, the production increased to 1.31 million metric tons and further grew to 1.37 million metric tons in 2021.

He however notes that this first season, they have registered a significant decline in production with only 320,000 metric tons of soya beans produced by farmers recorded.

“The weather played a key role in the decline of the crop yield in the district. Although it’s only the first farming season, we anticipate the harvest combined with the second season will be much lower than the previous years,” Oyet said. 

Oyet also notes that whereas some farmers were able to make harvests, they were facing challenges in marketing due to exploitation by middlemen who have infiltrated the communities in search of soya beans.

For instance, he says the prices of the cereals have nose-dived in the district with middlemen buying from desperate farmers as low as 1,000 and 1,500 shillings for a kilogram of the cereals.

“Our advice at the moment to farmers is that they should form themselves into cooperatives so that they bulk their crops and sell at a high price to genuine buyers,” Says Oyet.

Vincent Kakanyero, a farmer in Idobo Parish, Lalogi Sub-county in Omoro District says the dry spell greatly affected his soya beans yield in the first farming season.

Kakanyero says he planted soya beans on two and a half acres of farmland but ended up getting only eight bags instead of the 20 bags that he had anticipated harvesting.

He notes that he ended up earning only about 1.8 million shillings from its sale even when he had spent about 800,000 shillings on clearing the garden.

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Kakanyero says he expects to compensate for his loss this second farming season if the rain doesn’t disappear early.

Justine Okeny, another farmer in Loyo Ajonga village in Lakwaya Sub-county says his two acres of garden of soya beans were equally affected by the prolonged dry spell. Although he managed to get 1,200 kilograms of soya beans, Okeny says the harvest would have been much higher had it been raining.

Most farmers in the region have embraced Soya beans growing due to its lucrative market locally and at the national level. Soya beans are processed into varied food products such as Soybean oil, soybean milk, soybean cake, food ingredient for livestock and poultry, soybean flour, and nuts.

In 2019 alone, Uganda exported 68.6 percent of its Soya beans to COMESA countries specifically Kenya and Rwanda, constituting 84.9 percent and 10.4 percent respectively followed by European Union (29.7 percent) specifically France (55.1 percent) and the Netherlands (27.3 percent).

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