Uganda: To sponsor the Karamoja Region in teaming with the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) on a drive to enhance Food Security and Nutrition
By Abdul Rahman Bangura–
NEW AFRICA DAILY NEWS (NADN) Freetown, Sierra Leone– This drive is to recognize crop types that flourish in the arid environment, offering Karamoja’s growers resilient and productive options.
“In Kotido, the primary challenge has been drought. We are conducting trials with cover crops such as Canavalia and observing significant benefits, including increased moisture retention and erosion reduction. In my pilot garden, I use contour banding and micro ponds to capture runoff water during the rainy season, which is then utilized during the dry season. It’s a successful approach,” Benard Obin Eria, an agricultural officer in Kotido remarked.
The Director for Research at NARO underscored Uganda’s commitment to addressing food security and challenges in the Karamoja region through extensive research. This includes sustainable land management practices, climate-smart agriculture, vaccine trials, agricultural mechanization, clean seed development, and the enhancement of crop varieties.
The meaningful outcome is the tractor hire scheme, that has help local growers and has kicked in to enhanced harvests. This mechanization endeavor does not only alleviates the hurdle of manual labor but likewise enables the efficiency of agriculture in Karamoja Growers who have profited from the tractor hire scheme have registered enhanced yields.
“In Morulem Sub County, we have ploughed over 200 acres of land and planted various crop varieties. This is a significant achievement, but the limited availability of tractors means we face ongoing challenges.” Stated Sam Charles.
Besides, NARO is involved in vaccine trials to combat tick-borne diseases, a persistent consideration for livestock health in the region. Scientists are devoted to formulating innovative solutions that safeguard the well-being of Karamoja’s livestock and, by extension, the livelihoods of its societies.
The Acting program leader for the Animal Resources Research Program – Dr. Boma , expressed that Tick-borne diseases pose a significant threat to animal health and productivity in Karamoja. And that they are working to develop innovative solutions to address this issue. The collective actions of the Ministry of Agriculture and NARO are set to have a favorable and enduring consequence on the resilience and prosperity of Karamoja’s people.
Dr. Samuel Kayongo, the Head of Program for Crop and Natural Resources informed the media that in contemporary years, they settled issues connected to armyworm and emerging pests.
“Current breeding techniques in Karamoja incorporate resistance to drought and diseases, promote good agronomic practices, and adopt climate-smart agriculture, all aimed at enhancing farmer resilience during periods of drought.”
Dr. Raphael Ojara, the seed expert at NARO divulged that the Karamoja Zonal research epicenter is busily breeding various seeds to produce high-quality seeds for different farmer groups across Karamoja. The effort expands to planting a variety of crops such as sorghum, green gram, maize, and cowpeas, totaling 400 acres in Lorengedwat.
For New Africa Daily News Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent