By Our Reporter
KIRUHURA: Farmers in Kashongi constituency, Kiruhura district and other parts of the cattle corridor want authorities including the National Drug Authority-NDA and Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries-MAAIF to up the game in fighting the increasing fake drugs, a situation that has prompted many to use different concoctions leaving some of their domestic animals dead, blind, among other woeful outcomes.
While narrating their plight during Farmers’ Parliament at Kashongi S/County headquarters on Friday, farmers stressed that many have now decided to mix herbicides and acaricides to spray their animals, and other concoctions to mitigate the damage by fake agriculture inputs,killing their crops and animals.
Addressing participants, the area Member of Parliament (MP) Hon Tayebwa Herbert Musasizi stressed that farmers are frustrated by different issues especially fake drugs, low prices and lack of market for agricultural products, among others.
Hon Tayebwa stated that as the government and other partners put different interventions to address farmers’ challenges, the farmers should also embrace value addition, working as groups or cooperatives, engaging extension workers for advanced knowledge, and other approaches to boost their economic activities including livestock farming, coffee growing, fruit farming, etc.
According to Dr. Asiimwe Grace who’s the District Veterinary Officer-DVO Kiruhura, the government has already taken a step to address these challenges through increasing the number of agriculture officers, veterinary officers, operations to fight fake drugs, and other interventions at different levels.
Some of the farmers’ submissions during the baraza.
“Tell us the original drug & its cost. We can buy it. No drug is more valuable than cattle. Extension workers should also have a proper plan to meet farmers,” Hon Tayebwa.
“I’ve lost at least five cows. I sold some cows and constructed a spray race in August 2021, but if you go to my farm, you can collect a basin of ticks. It’s the drug that’s fake,” another farmer narrated.
“Why do you tell us to use this drug and leave other types yet all are on market and are being sold? We are here to get solutions,” another concerned farmer submitted.
“I advise my fellow farmers to embrace value addition if we’re to benefit,” a model farmer.
Participants appreciated the founders of Farmers’ Parliament; Mbarara Network of Farmers’ Voice, and Rise Against Poverty Organization – RAP Uganda led by Robert Kabatereine and Aaron Ainomugisha respectively, for undertaking grass-root & people-centred socio-economic transformation & poverty alleviation campaigns in line with Uganda’s development plans and the United Nation (UN) Sustainable Development Goals-SDGs.
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