NWOYA – Commercial farmers in Nwoya are cautiously scaling back operations and increasing layoffs of casual labor jobs largely to cope with the grim Covid-19 restrictions on movement.
The rising lay-offs of casual laborers is a big worry for cooperative farmers who live off odd jobs on commercial farms.
Alfred Ocan, the chairman of Nwoya Cassava and Rice Cooperative Society, said casual workers live off the little money earned from odd farm jobs each day but as Covid-19 strikes a second time, some commercial farmers have opted to try other businesses.
“Many of our members do odd jobs on commercial farms and if work scales down some cooperatives are also affected,” he said.
According to him, several casual workers have been affected by these layoffs.
The little they have been earning on farms, they have used it to open up their land for farming while others have bought shares in cooperative societies, he said.
Joyce Lamunu, a casual laborer, told theCooperator that her employer laid off 25 of his 50 casual laborers.
“We have been trekking every day to farms to do odd jobs but as I talk now many of us have been laid off. They feared that we might take Covid-19 at the site and we infect others,’’ she said
The District Commercial Officer Kenneth Kitara said Covid-19 restrictions on inter-district movement are to blame.
“Casual laborers at the moment cannot be moved from one district to another, that has made commercial farmers to scale down their activities,” he said.
Kitara said the affected farmers are being encouraged to put their energies into farming their private land.
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