Farmers count losses as drought hits Oyam district

todayAugust 10, 2021

By Chris Woo

Several crop farmers in 6 of the 15 Sub Counties in Oyam district are worried of the prolonged dry spell that has adversely affected productivity. The dry spell hit parts of the district for the last two months.
The most affected areas are Acaba, Kamdini, Myene, Iceme, Abok and Aleka sub counties.
Thomas Owiny a farmer in Ogwangapur parish Acaba Sub County says he is already preparing his land for the second planting season since his crops have been greatly affected by the dry spell for the last two months.
He says he has destroyed his 4 acre garden of beans since they had dried up.
“There is nothing I can do as of now. I destroyed every plant I had in my garden because this heat is taking me nowhere. Almost everything I had on my garden is dried up. Currently Im waiting for the second planting season which ideally starts in August but now I don’t even know what to do. I’m still undecided whether to proceed and plant other crops or not. But we also want government to come to our rescue”, he said.
Abdul Akim Okeny, another farmer from Iceme sub county say majority of farmers in the area whose crops were severely affected by the long dry spell are now surviving on proceeds from sales of soya beans.
“A number of us are currently surviving on money we got from selling soya beans. Crops like maize and others have been greatly affected by the lack of rain”, he said.
Nicolas Opio Awelo, the LC3 chairperson Iceme Sub County says a number of farming households are grappling with scarcity of foods as most of them have lost huge chunks of land to the famine.
“We are likely to see people starving very soon if the situation does not change so soon because most of our people depend on farming for livelihood. It would be good if government assists the farmers who are currently facing looming hunger. But we are cautioning the farmers who have already harvested their first season's crops more especially soya beans to desist from over consumption of alcohol as this will make you poorer”, he said.
Alex Enon the assistant commercial officer Oyam district says registration of farmers who have been affected by the long dry spell for assistance has commenced. But he has appealed to the farmers to continue planting more crops as they find a way to squeeze resources to help them.

COVER PHOTO: One of the maize gardens that was affected by the prolonged drough in Oyam district. Photo by Chris Woo.

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