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HomeNATIONALKaramoja Turns To Serious Farming After 40years Of Cattle Rustling

Karamoja Turns To Serious Farming After 40years Of Cattle Rustling

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Karamoja Sub region has fertile soils which provides great opportunities for farming, but all along the land was not utilized due to cattle conflicts that took the Karimojong communities for over 40 years conflicting with their neighboring districts.
Despite having fertile land, the region is also prone to environment hazards like flooding and drought. Last year and this year, the region has received one of its worst cases of floods and water logging. As results of this cattle conflict, the Karimojong lost a big number of animals in the raids clashes between them and their counterparts the Turkana of Kenya, Toposa of Southern Sudan.
The animals were their major source of living for the Karimojong and farming in the region was not taken as a serious activity because by then one person was having between 1,000 to 2,000 heads of cattle and goats but the animals have now got finished and have to look for alternatives, a person who used to keep over 1,000 to 2,000 cows now has nothing others have remained with between 2 to 5 cows.
With no any other hope of surviving, the Karimojong have turned their mind into food production.
“We hope we shall cope up with life through farming because this activity was out of our minds since we had another alternative of survival which was livestock,” said Mathew Ilukol.
Mr. Ilukol a resident of Panyangara village in Panyangara Sub County in Kotido district says they are now getting used to farming because no any other alternative for survival. Rose Nachap a resident of Katanga village in Nadunget Sub County in Moroto district said growing cassava has become their main crop.
“We used to see cassava plantation on Teso and we thought it grew up alone we didn’t know that its being planted now we are also doing it and we believe if all families in Karamoja could adopt it, we shall get out of hunger,” She said.
The retired district Agriculture Officer Nakapiripirit Mr. Mario Tengei said although the Karimojong used to do farming but it’s not in a big way as they have embraced it after losing their animals.
“Our people used to do farming but it was not real farming because most of their time was looking after cows but now cows have got finished they are now practicing farming seriously,” he said.
He said in the whole region people are now realizing that farming can make them to live.
“At least every family when you move around has not less than four acres of land planted with crops and yet before it used not to be there,” he said.
Mr. Tengei believed that in the next coming three years if the weather behaves well, Karamoja will join the rest of the regions in the country in food production.
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