Farmers in Kayonza District have been urged to increase crop production during the next planting season, Season 2016 A.
The district Mayor, John Mugabo, said the district registered a bumper harvest in the past season and their intention was to produce even more for the next season.
“The district is happy with achievements made by farmers last season, maize was cultivated on over 983 hectares, rice and beans on 2,360 hectares, soya beans on 3,350 hectares and bananas on 409 hectares. We are targeting to produce even more next season…at least 63,093 hectares were earmarked for production,” he said.
He was speaking at a one-day consultative meeting, dubbed ‘Open Day’, that attracted local leaders, farmers, businesses and government officials on Tuesday.
Mugabo said farmers were determined to increase crop production to reduce poverty in the district.
“Farmers will use organic and chemical fertilisers and improved seeds. Making of progressive terraces, mechanisation and irrigation will be maximised. We shall also increase growth of non-traditional exports such as mangoes and avocadoes.”
Kayonza District, that ranked sixth in 2013/14 national performance contracts evaluation, slipped to 20th position in the latest evaluation.
Reacting to the poor performance, the mayor said a number of things came into play, citing non-performing animal farms.
“We have individual livestock farms that were supposed to be improved by fencing and clearing. We scored only 63.5 per cent, which is a failure. We also failed to avail a hatchery to Rukara Model Village, also leading us to score 63.5 per cent. The two were our main undoing,” he said.
Most Kayonza residents in the district have for long depended on traditional subsistence agriculture and the produce has been low due to poor agricultural practices.
Richard Kayihura, one of the farmers in Mwiri Sector, said he was positive about bumper harvests next season after adopting appropriate farming methods.
“We have embraced modern ways of irrigating crops…with the system, farmers can now expect good harvests.”
“Poor agricultural practices have been behind low yields and poor harvests in our area. I cultivated on a half hectare but with the modern methods, I expect to produce a lot after harvesting,” he said.