AGAGO -Agago district commercial officer, Geoffrey Otema has tipped cooperative farmers to plant fast-maturing crops and vegetables as the rainy season nears its end.
According to Otema, crops and vegetables that take two months to grow can easily survive the remaining part of the rainy season.
“We have reached out to the cooperators and advised them to follow the advice keenly so that they do not waste the resource they have just like in the first season how crops dried up in the farmlands,” he said.
Charles Utim, Chairperson Lukole Cooperative Union in Agago district said some farmers have already messed up since they planted crops that might go up to four months.
“The rain pattern has been confusing farmers at the grassroots, with some planting their crops late.
To him, there is a need to advise the farmers so that they diversify their economic activities to mitigate the effects of climate change.
“There is a tendency of growing traditional crops throughout the year, yet there are also crops that can do very well in the region,” he added.
Nancy Karamera, a member of Parabongo Cooperative Society, who has been growing sim-sim for decades, however, says she has no knowledge of growing other crops.
Sorghum, millet, and Sim-sim are the major food crops grown by the cooperators in the district.
Meanwhile, Kitgum Livestock and Dairy Cooperative Society has closed its operations due to the accumulated rent arrears amounting to Shs 5 million and inadequate operational funds.
The cooperative with more than 100, members was established in 2007, with members keeping mainly local cows for milk production.
The operation centre is a milk collection point for farmers in Lamwo, Agago, and Pader districts.
In an interview, Secretary Manson Okello told this reporter that they were affected by the aftereffects of Covid-19 and early this year they decided to close temporarily since they could not rise rent fees of Shs 300,000, per month.
“We are looking for operational funds, pay the accumulated rent so that we can resume business. Otherwise, the members are unable to mobilise resources,” he said.
“We held a meeting recently but little was achieved and we have now turned our swords to the leaders, seeking for their financial help.”
Joan Kakanyero one of the members said farmers now sell their milk to individuals who are not also consistent when it comes to paying.
“Resources have remained a challenge otherwise selling what we produce under the cooperative was much better since we were sure of the available market and safety of our money,” she said.
Henry Komakech East Acholi Cooperative Union manager says they are on the ground mobilising the cooperators to get back to their business.
East Acholi Cooperative Union brings together more than 100 primary cooperative societies.
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