Farmers across the Karamoja sub-region are expressing frustration over delays in the government’s distribution of seeds during this crucial planting season. Despite the onset of rains in early April in some parts of Karamoja, farmers have yet to plant crops three weeks later due to the absence of seeds.   

This delay is exacerbating food insecurity concerns, as many households have depleted their cereal reserves intended for cultivation. Jonathan Moru, a farmer from Nadunget sub-county in Moroto district, laments that despite having over four acres of land prepared for planting, he is unable to proceed without seeds. 

Moru’s plea for timely seed distribution echoes sentiments shared by many farmers who rely on government support for agricultural inputs. Similarly, John Boso Akore, secretary for the Kotido Elder council, highlights the community’s efforts to engage in commercial farming to enhance food security among the Jie people. 

However, Akore underscores the challenges of inadequate seeds and mechanization, urging the government to prioritize reliable, drought-resistant seeds tailored to the region’s climate.

Meri Jino, the LC5 Chairperson of Kaabong district, emphasizes the urgency of seed distribution as the planting season draws to a close. With local cereal stocks depleted during periods of food scarcity, Jino stresses the need for government intervention to alleviate the seed shortage and enable farmers to capitalize on the available rainfall.

In response to these challenges, the government has collaborated with the Nabuin Zonal Agricultural Research Institute to develop improved seed varieties suitable for Karamoja’s climate. 

Dr. Paul Okullo, the institute’s Director of Research, acknowledges delays in seed distribution but assures farmers of imminent delivery following guidelines from the Office of the Prime Minister.  

Lawrence Aribo, manager of Applied Meteorology and Climate Services at the Uganda National Meteorological Authority, provides insights into the region’s weather patterns, emphasizing the importance of tree planting to mitigate climate extremes. 

Despite near-normal to above-normal rainfall projections for central parts of Karamoja, Aribo warns of potential flash floods and advises communities to remain vigilant.


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