The minister for Agriculture Vincent Bamulangaki has applauded crops, livestock and fisheries’ farmers across the country for having sustained production and supplying the food, fibre and cash requirements for the population especially during this pandemic.
He also urged them to intensify agricultural activities in this second season of the year 2020.
The minister was speaking to the Press in Kampala this morning. He noted that despite the COVID 19 pandemic, Uganda has remained food secure and that on the side of cash crops, Uganda is also doing very well.
“For instance, Uganda shipped 543,251- 60kg bags of coffee in the month of July 2020, up from 463,709 bags exported in the same month in 2019. This is the highest volume of coffee reported in the last 20 years. I congratulate you for this good performance and equally urge you to double your efforts to enable this country achieve its target of exporting 20 million coffee bags per annum, among other Agricultural products” Bamulangaki said.
He revealed that the climate outlook forum that sat on 26th August 2020 noted that the weather for October to December 2020 is predicted to be drier than normal in the East African region and this means that the second season is likely to be short. Temperatures are also expected to be high with low rain fall that may end early.
In the context of the available weather forecast, he emphasized some farming activities that include; the preparations of gardens which should have begun earlier before the planting season. The minister says that the ongoing rains mark the onset of the second season rains which is expected to be short.
“Planting of crops such as Cereals (Maize, Upland Rice, Sorghum, Millet) Pulses (beans, ground nuts, soya beans, peas), Cassava, Potatoes, Vegetables (tomatoes, cabbages, onions, egg plants, pepper, amaranth) should have started at the onset of rains in August. For those farmers that did not plant at the onset of August rains, you are advised to finalise land preparation, acquire the right inputs (seeds, fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides) from the nearby recommended stockists and plant immediately” the minister advised.
Farmers are also advised to plant fast maturing and drought tolerant crop varieties such as vegetables, maize (WEMA, Bazooka), beans (NARO bean 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, 12 C).
“I emphasize and advise farmers to eat a balanced diet while observing the ministry of Health standard operating procedures against COVID-19 and to take maximum precautions while attend to farming. The COVID-19 Pandemic is not in the gardens but most likely from the congregations.
I call upon you to produce massively for the population of Uganda, the Region and for Export.”