Farmers in Buliisa District attribute poor crop yields to ‘modern seeds’

Farmers in Ngwedo sub-county in Buliisa District are grappling with poor crop yields that they attribute to seeds distributed by government through the Operation Wealth Creation, OWC.

The crops include Cassava, maize, Bananas, beans and other local crops that they say decay right from the time of germination till harvest.

The farmers say the indigenous seeds do produce better yields as opposed to those that are distributed by government. They allege that the seeds distributed by government often rot and are incompatible with their soils.

Atugonza Teopista a cassava farmer from Ngwedo listeners club says all her crops rot from the garden despite her practicing crop rotation.

“We were helped by NAPE situated in Kakindo who gave us indigenous seeds that yielded well in my acre of cassava farm but since then OWC seeds don’t help me”, Ms. Atugonza explained to Community Green Radio.

Stanley Kamanyire is appealing to Government engage the community on how to arrest the situation.

“I wish Government tells us exactly what is affecting our cassava, maize and beans so that we know the solution than making us doubt.  We should be able to know if the problem is with seeds, soil or climatic factors “, Mr. Kamanyire narrated.

Buliisa district production officer Kaahwa Robert admits that crops have been rotting. He however asserts that other factors like soil can cause crop rust or decay due to too much alkalinity in the soil.

“The seeds we distribute to farmers are purely improved, disease resistant which suits high crop yields other than decayed seeds unless they mix our improved seeds with those that have spent long time before planting . “Kaahwa exclaimed.

National Association of Professional Environmentalists, NAPE, through its Food Security and Sovereignty Campaign stirs healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through sustainable methods, inspires small holder farmers in communities, and trains them on how to gather/revive indigenous seeds, plant them, store them and select some for replanting.

In 2016, Buliisa district was hit by the Cassava brown streak virus that left cassava tubers brown inside. The virus is believed to have spread after introduction of improved varieties in the area.

The Cassava brown streak virus spreads through propagating infected cassava cuttings in the field.

Compiled by Dorcus Drijaru

Oil refinery PAPs to take children to a school five kilometers away from their residence

As schools open for a new year in line with Uganda’s Education curriculum this year, Over 40 affected persons of the proposed oil refinery in Kabaale Parish Buseruka Sub county in Hoima District Western Uganda have desperately chosen to take their children to Buseruka Primary school which is about 5 km from their residence in Kyakaboga village, Nyakabingo parish in the same sub-county.

According to the Oil Refinery Residents Association (ORRA) Vice chairperson, Innocent Tumwebaze, the residents are prompted by the fact that new academic year 2018 has started and Government hasn’t re-opening Nyahaira primary school located in the refinery area.

“The project affected persons (PAPs) were promised by Government that upon occupying the newly constructed houses, Nyahaira primary school would be re-instated but nothing yet has been done”, Tumwebaze told Community Green radio.

Despite Government promise of land titles, water and electricity for the 46 resettled families, fulfillment hasn’t been effected fully.

Mr. Joseph Lubega Kamanyire, the Education officer in charge Buseruka Sub County admits that the Government promised the PAPs a school after resettlement but since the term has just begun, patience is needed.

“The PAPs should be patient for a while because the term has just opened and Government cannot break the pledge, I thank parents who have devised means of taking children to nearby schools” says Mr. Lubega.

National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) has been working hand in hand with the Oil Refinery affected communities through its programmes like the Sustainability School and Community Green Radio amplifying their voices thus encouraging them to fight for their rights on resettlement/ relocation and compensation and better services associated with them.

According to Hoima District Development Plan 2015/2016 -2019/2020, Buseruka sub-county school drop-out rate stands at 8% being a major challenge faced by the education sector ever since land acquisition for the refinery project affected Kyapaloni and Nyahaira Primary School, the number of Government owned schools reduced to 9.

Compiled by Dorcus Drijaru