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Farmers in Acholi Start Early Preparation for Second Planting Season

In the first planting season, the majority of farmers realized low yields due to too much sunshine which was experienced across the region from the months of May to June. This dried up and withered many garden crops that were already blossoming and about to mature.
Aceng`s maize crop infested by fall armyworms. Photo by Emmy Daniel Ojara

Audio 5

Farmers in Acholi Sub Region have started early preparation for this year`s second planting season. The second plating season mainly starts at the onset of the second rainy season which commences in early June annually.  

Most farmers in the Acholi Sub-region have started clearing their plots of land through burning, ploughing with oxen while others also sorting their seeds ready for planting. 

In the first planting season, the majority of farmers realized low yields due to too much sunshine which was experienced across the region from May to June. This dried up and withered many garden crops that were already blossoming and about to mature.   

Grace Acan, a farmer in Lajalula in Lakang Sub County says that she has already opened up her four acres of land for planting rice, beans and groundnuts.  

Acan explained that she will leave her plots of land to fallow for two weeks and by mid-July, she will sow her seeds.   

Acan added that she will plant fast maturing and hybrid seeds which are resistant to adverse weather conditions based on the fact that last year she lost her three acres of maize and rice garden crops to too much sunshine.   

Simon Oketta, another farmer in Lajalula parish says he has also opened up five acres of farmland and will start planting maize, groundnuts and soya beans in July next week. 

This he says will allow the crops to mature early and produce better yields which will guarantee him food security for his household. 

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Like Acan, Oketta also lost over three acres of maize crops, millet and sim-sim due to too much sunshine which was experienced across the Acholi Sub Region between May and June this year. 

Santa Atoo, a mother of five, has equally ploughed three acres of land and hopes to plant groundnuts, sim-sim, millet and soya beans in mid-July this year.   

Andrew Opwonya, a farmer in Keyo, Gulu district says that he wants to beat the adverse weather which he experienced in the first planting season by preparing his garden early enough and planting fast-maturing crops which are also resistant to weather changes.

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Alice Atim, a member of Oitino Green Growers Cooperative in Gulu City which comprises more than 120 farmers says they are also in the process of opening up several acres of garden to plant beans, rice, sorghum and soya beans for commercial purposes in the second season.   

Richard Sejjoba an agronomist with Agro-Vet in Gulu City advised farmers in Acholi to prepare their gardens early and leave it to fallow for about two weeks to avoid pests and diseases and plant their seeds, not beyond early September.   

He also asked them to plant hybrid seeds which are resistant to pests and diseases, adaptive to changes and are fast-growing. 

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He further advised them to always monitor weather changes by visiting Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) and other weather update sites.   

The Uganda National Meteorological Authority in its June - August forecast predicted that Northern Uganda is expected to receive near normal with a slight tendency to above-normal rainfall in the second last quarter.   

The forecast further indicates that most pats in the districts of Kitgum, Lamwo, Agago, Lira, Otuke and Pader that have been experiencing occasional showers are expected to continue up to late-June and thereafter steady rains punctuated by some dry spells are expected to get established until the end of the forecast season.   

Furthermore, Tom Mboya an Agricultural Inspector in the Ministry of Agriculture advised that farmers should also practice good post harvests management to get high-quality products and meet the international market standards. 

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