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Brace for the drought, Ugandans warned

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Brace for the drought, Ugandans warned

A clockwise illustration of the anticipated rainfall starting September

Many regions of Uganda are already experiencing dry conditions and yet weather forecasters say September is the wettest of the remaining four months of the year.

This should be a rude awakening not just for farmers but almost to everyone in Uganda that the coming four months are likely to be a tough time.

Although the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja tried to encourage farmers to plant early-maturing food like beans, for many, the minister’s advice is too late.

Ssempijja said: “According to the climate outlook forum that sat on August 26, 2020, the weather for October to December 2020 is predicted to be drier than normal in the East African region.

This means that the second season is likely to be short. Temperatures are also expected to be high with low rainfall that may end early,” revealed Ssempijja.

In fact, the report released by the National Meteorological Authority shows that most parts of the country will be dry from October till December 2020.

The Minister indirectly admitted to failure on his part for failing to warn farmers in advance when he said that planting was supposed to have started in August.

He nonetheless urged farmers to plant fast maturing and drought tolerant crops.

The Minister also appealed to the general public to use the available food stocks sparingly and avoid waste in light of the forecasted short rains.

Ssempijja, also urged all farmers to work towards producing quality products citing that it easies marketing them most especially to the outside world.

“Let us work as a team to produce more safe, marketable food and fiber, for a healthy and prosperous nation,” said Ssempijja.

Ssempijja further appealed to farmers to effectively embrace record keeping citing that farming as a business thrives successfully on sound book keeping principles.

“Farmers are advised to record all their farming operations right from land preparations to marketing/ consumption,” said Ssempijja.

Meanwhile, the minister reveled that the country attained the highest coffee export this year and further urged farmers to double efforts to enable the country hit its target of exporting 20 million bags per annum among other Agricultural products.

“Uganda shipped 543,251- 60kg bags of coffee in the month of July 2020, up from 463,709 bags exported in the same month in 2019. This is the highest volume of coffee reported in the last 20 years,” he said.

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