IDP Returnees Demand Review in Farm Implement Costs

Several formerly displaced persons in Gulu are bitter that high cost of seeds and farm tools may hinder their expectation to become self reliant by growing their own food after years of relying on handouts in the camps.

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Former Internally displaced persons, say they require farm kits to open and cultivate fields as well as seeds to plant as the rainy season gets underway.

In most areas of the district, many farmers are taking advantage of the current rains to cultivate and plant.

Patrick Nyeko, a resident of Pumena parish in Bungatira Sub County says that while they are excited about the rains, the seeds are too costly. He says the area residents have formed groups with the members taking turns to open each others gardens.

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Concy Acayo, a resident of Purwich parish in Lalogi Sub County, says hat although her family has opened acres of land awaiting planting, they may not afford to buy the required quantity of seeds.

The mother of six says that she plans to plant four acres of maize and sunflower. She notes that she would need 160,000 shillings to buy 80 kilograms of maize seeds for the four acres.

Ronald Lukwiya, a businessman who sells farm implements and seeds does not explain why the cost of the seeds are high. He However says  a kilogram of maize seeds costs two thousand shillings while beans is at four thousand shillings.

A kilo of groundnut seeds is being sold at five thousand and eight hundred shillings while onions and sunflower costs six thousand five hundred and four thousand shillings respectively.

Lukwiya says that most farmers are demanding to buy maize and vegetables seeds to target the rains that they fear might not last long.

Geoffrey Okello, a farmer in Koch is concerned that that government should institute a policy that makes farming a priority to enhance attempts by the former displaced persons to build sustenance.

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Crop cultivation is a major agricultural activity in the area and is expected to increase following the return and resettlement of hundreds of people who had been forced into camps by the over two decades of war in northern Uganda.