Here in the west of Uganda we are suffering from a long drought.
Traditionally the dry season ends on 15th August and so all of the farmers go out and plant their crops, expecting good rains for the next few months.
However…..the weather system seems to have other ideas!
As seems to be the case all around the world we are seeing that weather patterns are changing and for farmers this is huge challenge. Trying predict if and when rain will come has a huge bearing on when a farmer here plants his crop. The weather forecast here is improving but importantly it is not localised, meaning that for farmers it is often not very useful or accurate.
Farmers can no longer rely on the 15th August, those that did this year will have a very poor crop at best, most likely nothing at all. It is no surprise that farmers become demoralised and give up trying. To invest money in seed, cultivations and labour, to get no return is very hard to take.
There is no doubt that the weather forecasting needs to improve and once it does, a good system of getting that information to farmers is needed.
There are some farmers though that don’t have to worry about this though……those with irrigation.
There are many large rivers, streams and springs in the area and even in the dry season most of them do not dry up.
What lacks is the ability to harvest that water and use it to grow food.
Agri Evolve is currently working hard on plans for a few irrigation systems which will see farmers benefit from simple gravity flow irrigation systems, using water from local rivers. Then, come rain or drought, our farmers will be growing crops all year round!
In the mean time….lets hope we get some good rains soon!