GULU-The National Agricultural Research Organization [NARO] is courting farmers in Gulu district to join in the massive production of Namche 5 rice variety.
The rice variety, which grows and yields well in the uplands is being introduced to more farmers in both Gulu district and Gulu City, with officials saying it will improve farmers’ incomes since it gives high yields.
Already, over 1,200 farmers in Gulu district have embraced the new rice variety, which was introduced barely three years ago.
Laban Turyagenda, the director Ngetta Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute where the research for the new rice variety is being conducted, said that the seeds were first brought to Uganda from India.
He said that with high fertility levels of soil and the sandy loam soil texture of most soils in Acholi and Lango Sub-region, Namche 5 rice variety can have very high yields.
Speaking during a demonstration exercise at Pur Ber Farmers Group demonstration farm on Wednesday this week, Turyagenda said that the rice variety can “actually do very well even without applying fertilisers and or manure”.
Currently, the government agency is also courting farmers to consider abandoning the traditional rice varieties of Sindani, and super for NARO DAP 3 and NARO BioNiKPhos which it asserts has better yields and nutrients.
Jackson Lakor, the Gulu district agricultural officer said that they are currently using the testimonies from the farmers who first embraced the Namche 5 rice variety to court other farmers to join.
Lakor said 30 kilogrammes [kgs] of rice planted on an acre of land can yield of about 1,500kgs depending on the management of the garden.
“This is one of the magic bullets of chasing poverty from among the households of our farmers. It’s the reason we are rallying more of them to join the massive production of this rice variety.
According to Lakor, the market for the rice variety is readily available within and outside the district.
Shanon Ouma, the chairperson of the Pawel Cooperative Society told our reporter that after interacting with the district production department, members of the cooperative society are willing to venture into the massive production of the new rice variety.
According to Ouma, as a cooperative society, they want to deal in crops that have been identified and are being promoted by the government.
“We are normally careful of the crops we plant because we know that many projects and programs come with specific crops and in the end, we the farmers are left on the losing side. For this particular rice variety, we understand that some agro-processing companies are willing and have committed to buy the rice from us, that is why we are now rallying our members to start planting it next year,” Ouma said.
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