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MASINDI: HUNGER LOOMS AS FARMERS RESORT TO SUGARCANE GROWING

He however disclosed that they are now feeling the impact of farmers with limited land venturing in the sugarcane growing business.

By Innocent Atuganyira

MASINDI: Leaders in Masindi are worried about hunger outbreak in the district following the increased sugarcane growing in the area.

The concern was raised recently during the supervision of government programs in the district by the parliamentary committee on agriculture, animal industry and fisheries.

Cosmas Byaruhanga, the Masindi district LCV chairperson told the parliamentary committee members in Pakanyi Sub County in Buruli County that most farmers with limited land within the district have resorted to sugarcane growing something he said may result in hunger outbreak in the district.

‘’Many farmers with limited land have resorted to sugarcane growing which may result in a hunger outbreak in the district,’’ he said.

Byaruhanga therefore asked the parliamentary committee to intervene in the matter.

In the recent district council sitting, Byaruhanga also raised a concern of people storming his office seeking food due to hunger, something he claimed would not happen in the past.

‘’In the past, people would come to my office seeking help in terms of school fees, but now they are requesting for food’’ he told the council.

Recently during the launch of farmers Weigh Bridge in the district, Byaruhanga asked residents with limited land to desist from growing sugarcane if they want to fight hunger in their families.

In her response, Janet Grace Akech Okori-Moe, the parliamentary committee Chairperson said the issue would be discussed during their meetings.

Fred Ssebuguzi the Masindi District Production officer confirmed hunger outbreak in the district saying that the issue of farmers with limited land venturing into sugarcane growing has been on for the past five years.

He however disclosed that they are now feeling the impact of farmers with limited land venturing in the sugarcane growing business.

The Production Officer also attributed hunger outbreak to hailstorm that hit some parts of the district and also wild animals destroying plantations more especially those neighbouring Murchison Falls National Park.

On the issue of hailstorm, Ssebuguzi said that they sent a report to the office of prime requesting for relief food, and on the issue of wild animals, the Uganda Wildlife Authority is hunting the wild animals destroying crops.

‘’Last season we registered a reduction in maize production, and the above issues are blamed for the reduction. We are sensitizing farmers with limited land to desist from sugarcane growing,’’ he said.

Meanwhile Robert Atugonza, the Chairperson Masindi Sugarcane Farmers Association Limited {MASGAL} admitted that there are farmers with limited land venturing in sugarcane growing.

He however said that the majority of farmers who have small land holdings are practicing intercropping while others are planting in the boundaries.

Atugonza asserts that the government needs to improve on extension service delivery, look for markets for agricultural produce and support farmers with quality seeds to increase food production in the district.

Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us? Email us at editorial@ugreports.com

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