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Karamoja farmers decry unreliable weather information

A section of farmers in Karamoja sub region in north eastern Uganda have appealed to governmental and nongovernmental organizations operating in the region to establish an effective weather forecasting pattern that will provide them with reliable weather information.

 Farmers who spoke to theCooperator said some NGOs and government officials have in the past given them uncoordinated weather information that has resulted in failure by most farmers to plant their crops in time.

John Lokol a small scale farmer at Iriiri Sub County in Napak District said this uncoordinated release of critical weather information has led to the perception among other people that the Karimojong are lazy people who always cry of hunger.

“We are confused because we don’t get clear weather information on when the rains will start and stop, which would enable us to grow crops at the right time. Instead, our people, including government agents, give us information that has often turned out to be wrong,” he said.

According to Lokol, Karamoja would not be facing hunger every year if the region was receiving right and coordinated weather forecast information.

Patrick Tikol, another farmer in Lopei Sub County in Napak district proposed that government establish an effective regional weather forecast station so as to address food shortage in the region “since people would be informed about the rains well in advance.”

”Government should also regulate release of weather forecast information because right now many organisations take it upon themselves to give weather forecast information to people, and it later turns out to be false,” he said.

Mr. John Lodungokol the Assistant commissioner in charge of crops in the ministry of Agriculture blamed some development partners for rushing to disseminate weather forecast information before it has been scrutinized by the meteorological department.

He stressed that only the meteorological department, in conjunction with the ministry for Agriculture, is accredited to give weather information to farmers

“No entity is allowed to disseminate weather information apart from the meteorology department and that information is distributed by the ministry of agriculture through the district Agricultural extension officials,” he said.

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