KARAMOJA LEADERS CHART WAYS TO INCREASE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION

Some of the Gala goats that were recently given to the reformed warriors

BY TIMOTHY EODU

KOTIDO: FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2022

A section of local leaders in Karamoja are proposing various ways to boost agricultural production and end famine.

The local leaders say since karimojong livelihood rotates around cattle keeping, government should come up with various interventions that will allow them to keep animals but also benefit from then to solve household problems instead of depending on relief food.

According to the Kotido district Chief Administrative Officer, Joseph Lomongin, the district has more livestock count in the region and has plans to construct a mega dam which will help pastoralists to avoid long distance move in search of water.

Lomongin observed that concentration of animals in security Kraals has made it impossible for locals to get meat and milk for daily survival and as such could have also contributed to the current situation.

The CAO said they are having several interventions such as establishment of various water sources to facilitate agriculture and advocated for tractors, opening up roads to fertile lands, construction of storage facilities and organising farmers into bloc farming to grow more food.

The LC5 chairman of Nabilatuk district, Lokol also believes that if the pastoral system in the region could be strengthened with guaranteed security in the region, this would be a more sustainable ways of improving agricultural productivity of Karamoja.

He called for more investment on creating markets for the Karamoja cattle, favourable environment to keep the cattle which will enable the people to be self reliant.

Lokol said government should also prioritise giving enough tractors to the greener belts of Karamoja like Namalu, Iriiri, Abim and Karenga such that they can be able to do mass crop production as early as possible to sustain the other areas that most often rely on only cattle keeping.

Recently, while flagging off distribution of 71,550 gala goats to reformed warriors in Moroto district, president Yoweri Museveni advised the Karimojong to stop mixing animals by constantly migrating from one place to another if they want to be prosperous.

He said for the region to reap big from cattle keeping, they need to stop the insecurity so that the veterinary doctors can be able to access their farms for extension services and also more roads can be opened for easy market accessibility.

Due to the unpredictable climatic conditions in the region which faces longer dry spells, cattle keepers frequently shift from one place to another in search for pasture and water for their cattle.

This comes with a lot of risks of spreading ticks and tick-borne diseases which subsequently lead to poor animal health and sometimes death.

Currently, a healthy bull in the various cattle markets across the region costs between sh700,000 and sh1,000,000, a cow costs between sh500,000 and sh650,000 and goats are sold from sh130,000 to sh300,000 depending on the size.

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