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Napak Farmers Demand Tractors as Rain Season Sets in

The farmers who are getting seeds from Operation Wealth Creation, OWC, NUSAF 3 and partners are worried that their seeds might not get ample rains since they don’t have any means of opening land apart from using hand hoes.
Napak farmers with sorghum inputs at the district headquarters.m

Audio 4

Farmers in Napak District have raised concerns over the absence of tractors and oxen for ploughing as rains start in Karamoja.  

The farmers who are getting seeds from Operation Wealth Creation, OWC, NUSAF 3 and partners are worried that their seeds might not get ample rains since they don’t have any means of opening land apart from using hand hoes.

They fear that situation on hunger might continue if no means is provided to enable them open bigger expanses of land for cultivation. 

While receiving sorghum seeds from the district headquarters on Monday, Charles Lomongin Lokwii, a resident of Police Village in Lokitedet parish, Matany Sub County says that much as they are excited with the rains, there is little hope for good harvests due to limited capacity to open more land. 

Ngakarimojong bite

“We are so happy for the rains. We have been suffering with drought because there was no water for use at home or even animals as all the valley dams dried up. Now that these rains have started, we shall plant but we don’t have oxen to help us open huge expanses of land. Only few people with oxen can do better. Some of us without oxen use our hands or look for money to hire oxen but are limited”.

// Cue in “Kilakara ithua nooi…

Cue out…kita ngakan”//

Anne Angella, another resident in Lokitedet says she has been starving for days with her five- month baby. She says that part of the sorghum will be for flour and the remaining balance sowed since she doesn’t have oxen or tractor for ploughing.

Ngakarimojong bite “We have nothing to eat. We survive by doing casual labor. We are starving; as you see, I have not eaten anything since morning. There is no breastmilk for my child. These seeds, I will wash some to remove the pesticide and grind than the balance will be sowed. I don’t have oxen for ploughing”

// Cue in “Emam ngibore…

Cue out…akoro jik”/

Maria Moru, another farmer in Lorengechora town council says she will plant whatever she can but has no strength to sow all the seeds given. She notes that most the community in her village survive on tree leaves and their fruits daily, something she observes cannot provide enough strength to till the land.

Ngakarimojong bite

“I will sow whatever I can. I don’t have oxen. If there is any means for opening land, I would be very grateful. There hunger here and we survive on tree leaves together with our children”.

// Cue in “Ayeikini ca ngakan…

Cue out…kangikon ngiduwe”//

But John Lodungokol, the district production, and marketing officer in Napak says a number of farmers are not able to meet the requirements laid by government to access a tractor. He notes that although they have registered eight farmer groups in the district, many other individual farmers have been left out.

// Cue in “Now, government as we…

Cue out…will be supported”//

Napak district has so far received 12,000 kilograms of sorghum and 8,000 kilograms of cow peas varieties for the first planting season that started in March. 

Due to harsh weather conditions, some farmers fail to plant seeds distributed by government or make use of the tractors that are given. In most cases, the seeds are either distributed late or fail to sprout because of water shortage.