For many years, Karamoja region has been characterised by famine attributed to the harsh climate as the region experiences just one wet season in a year, accounting for poor crop performance across the region.
This status quo could remain history following the demonstration by farmers who are growing fruits and vegetables in Moroto district.
Experts acknowledge that this can be turned into a reality with adoption of modern farming mechanisms.
Kule Nasur, a gardener at a hotel owned farm in Moroto municipality has been growing variety of vegetables and fruits ranging from mangoes, apples, pawpaws and guavas on approximately an acre of land.
The products are consumed by the hotel which previously relied on inconsistent supplies from the market.
“We use a generator to pump water from underground and we make use of poultry and animal waste from our farm to keep the garden fertile,” Nasur explained.
Experts at Nabuin Zonal Agricultural Research Development Institute told The Nile Post that crop production can become a reality in karamoja with adoption off modern farming methods and use of sustainable land management.
They further noted that the institute is in final stages of releasing draught tolerant varieties to boost crop production in the region.
“We study what farmers are doing and why they are doing it then we get the science behind it and we improve it,” said Arionga Simon Peter, director of the institute.
Arionga further noted that the hope of realising this dream is anchored on investment in water harvesting systems, solar powered irrigation systems, community sensitization and research.
However the research capability of the regional agricultural research institute is still wanting.
The institute relies on laboratory facilities in Kampala and outside the country for most of its research work which is time and resource consuming
“We need a fully equipped laboratory and specialised specialised scientists if we are to do cutting age science,” Arionga said,
John Nangira, the LC5 chairperson Nakapiripirit said they have mapped areas where crops can do better.
“The district has been sub divided into three zones depending weather conditions,” Nangira said.
Karamoja will host this year’s World food Day celebrations slated for October 16.