The prolonged dry spell in Kisoro district is casting a shadow of concern over the planned planting season, raising fears among local farmers about an impending wave of hunger and potential famine.
The absence of rain since the Month of May has resulted in the withering of previously sown crops, while the anticipated planting season for August has been notably postponed.
Sanyu Regina, a dedicated farmer from Nyarubuye Sub County, expressed her worry about the unprecedented length of the July dry spell. She lamented the substantial losses incurred, as many had invested in cultivating Irish potatoes, only to witness them wither in their parched fields.
Regina highlighted the need to safeguard the environment to stabilize climatic patterns and cautioned that numerous farmers might struggle to repay loans acquired for purchasing seedlings in anticipation of the delayed August planting.
Regina further urged the local community to practice prudent food consumption to counteract the current mismatch between production and demand, reducing the risk of an imminent poverty crisis.
Ngarama Gerald, a resident of Chahafi town council, shared his concerns about the parched conditions prevailing since the devastating events that struck Murora Sub County in May, leading to loss of lives and property.
He revealed that Hunger has already begun to haunt the residents, as the landslides wiped out their fields leaving Fears of an impending famine loom large, compounded by the fact that the drought has prevented the cultivation of alternative crops.
Ngarama also highlighted the financial setbacks many farmers are facing, having invested in essential farming inputs such as seedlings, pesticides, and fertilizers in preparation for the new season. Unfortunately, the expected rains around August 15th have not materialized, putting their investments at risk.
In the midst of these challenges, Fidel Kamari, the chairperson of the Kisoro Irish Potato Growers Co-operative, encouraged farmers to select crop varieties resilient enough to endure both dry and wet seasons.
He also appealed to the government for support in acquiring irrigation equipment, enabling year-round farming activities.