Cooperatives & Communities

Lira rice farmers call for quality seeds

LIRA-Rice growers at Olweny Rice Irrigation Scheme in Itek Sub-county, Lira district have appealed to the Agriculture ministry to avail them with quality seeds, saying they will help boost the production of the crop as its demand rises.

They said the demand for rice is growing, which calls for massive production.

A kilogramme of milled rice is being sold at Shs 5,000 in Lira City and Shs 4,000 in the village compared to Shs 3,000 four months ago, according to Alfred Ocen, the chairperson of Itek Okile Rice Growers’ Multipurpose Cooperative Society.

The farmers, according to Ocen who is also the chairperson of Olweny Rice Irrigation Scheme, said farmers are preparing fields for planting but the demand for the seed especially PR rice variety is overwhelming.

According to Ocen, the scheme has two categories of rice growers. They include those farmers producing under cooperatives as well as individual farmers.

“We have tested the variety and established that it is high yielding and takes only three months then you harvest,” Ocen said.

Benson Ogwal, a seed multiplier at the scheme, said the season is in a countdown and what he is producing will not be adequate to meet the overwhelming demands.

“Here we have 1,800 farmers but what we are producing is not enough and I want to call upon the Ministry of Agriculture to give us quality rice seeds,” he said.

Jackson Atwii, the community liaison officer of the scheme said rice production in the area faces challenges such as lack of quality seeds as well as more varieties.

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