The Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Vincent Ssempijja advised farmers to speed up agriculture activities after experts forecasted a short second season.
The second season starts in August and ends in November and the minister says the Climate Outlook Forum that sat on August 26 predicted that the weather for October to December will be drier than normal in the East African region.
“This means that the second season is likely to be short,” the minister said. “Temperatures are also expected to be high with low rain fall that may end early.”
The minister says the preparations of gardens should have begun earlier before the planting season since 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, the minister said.
For farmers that did not plant at the onset of August rains, they have been advised to finalize land preparation, acquire the right inputs (seeds, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides) from the nearby recommended stockists and plant immediately.
Farmers who enrolled in the Agricultural Cluster Development Project (ACDP) e-voucher purchase system have been told to quickly pay for their contribution to facilitate access to their agricultural inputs so as to avoid late planting and crop loss.
According to the minister, farmers who did not establish plantations for perennial crops such as bananas, coffee, cocoa, tea, cashew nuts, orchards (citrus, mangoes, vanilla,) at the onset of August rains should finalise land preparation, acquire the right inputs (seeds/ planting materials, fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides) from the nearby recommended certified nursery operators and plant immediately.