By Mugenyi Joseph
For starters, Famine is the widespread scarcity of food.
Most parts of the country are likely face famine mainly because of crop failure and unpredictable climate changes this season.
Rain season usually starts in February around 15th, at this time farmers have already prepared their gardens ready to start planting but this time it didn’t rain.
As the month was ending, it rained shortly and most farmers started planting crops like beans, maize, Irish etc even though others remained puzzled and never planted at all.
Crops that germinated were seen dying because of too much sunshine that lasted for almost three weeks. Those that survived wilted and remained weak.
This affected most farmers and hence lowering the expected production during harvest.
In May, most seasonal crops will be harvested after total reduction in production, there will be shortage of food that we hope shall take us to the next growing season which seems hard.
The little we have from the previous harvest will try to take us up to the harvesting season to come but the question is; what will people consume when very little is harvested from this recent season?
Unpredictable Climate Changes
Farmers have failed to accurately predict the rainy and dry season.
We nowadays get rain in a dry season, for example, in January this year most parts experienced rainfall which was not the case before. The reverse is also true.
After prolonged period of sunshine for almost three weeks after planting, most parts of the country experienced heavy rain storm that left most crops damaged at all stages of growth.
Already the struggling crops from harsh conditions were weak and couldn’t withstand the strong wind.
Animals especially cows and goats are now the consumers of destroyed bananas. At Shs 500 you can get a banana for your animals because most were premature and most pasture had dried up.
Recently, Bunyangabu, a new district(formerly part of Kabarole District) experienced heavy hailstorm that left most farmers of Kyatwa,Rwengwara,Kyakahinda etc all in Kibiito Sub-County in tears after all their crops were destroyed by strong wind, especially bananas.
Bunyangabu district is among the leading Banana producers in Uganda.
Last year it produced the best farmer of the year in Uganda in the names of Mr Mugisa of Bubwiika village in Kibiito Sub-County.
Bananas have a great effect to the country’s economy since they are the most grown and consumed crops in Uganda.
Most agricultural product prices are directly proportional to banana prices. When banana prices increase or lower, the same applies to other crops.
Immediately after rain destroying many banana plantations, food prices increased.
For example, a 10kg sack has increased from shs 14,000 to shs19,000 within one day after the destruction.
Banana prices are expected to raise from the previous range of shs 5,000 -10,000 and shs 10,000-30,000 at the village level. The remaining bananas (kawoonawo) will be like gold, very expensive.
Many traders have used this as an advantage to increase food prices because they are running out of stock and nowhere to purchase from due to the food shortage. This has helped them in making abnormal profits on the business side.
This is a sign of famine in a short time from now.
People are advised to store more food for future consumption before food is at high prices and scarce.
Get all the agricultural information here bi-weekly.
Mugenyi Joseph (MJ Farmer) is a practicing Agribusiness entrepreneur based in Kibiito and a software Engineering student at Makerere University. He can be reached on 0701-443309, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org