The Uganda National Meteorological Authority – UNMA has advised farmers in the Karamoja sub region to start planting short maturing crops.
The farmers are currently preparing their gardens as the entire Karamoja is predicted to have enhanced rainfall from March to May.
According to UNMA, Karamoja sub region is likely to receive better rains starting late March, April and May then later relax in June before resuming to normal.
Godfrey Mujuni, the Data Manager at UNMA says that farmers in Karamoja should utilize the first rains to plant the maturing crops that will match the rain pattern.
Mujuni revealed that the months of March, April and May will have normal rains that support crop production for better yields.
Mujuni urged the district agricultural officers to sensitize farmers to prepare for the planting season.
Jonathan Adingdong, a farmer from Alerek Town council in Abim district said that although the weather man has predicted good rains, they shall have to consult elders to confirm the fortune.
Adingdong noted that several times weather officials have been predicting rain and it doesn’t come or sometimes comes later than expected.
He revealed that farmers in Abim district have been relying on their traditional foretellers to predict rain and the fate of harvest.
“There is a mountain that we always monitor, when we see light on top of it during the first rains, it is a sign of bumper harvest, so immediately we start planting crops, it works” Adingdong explained.
Adingdong noted elders have played a key role in predicting rains and it has always guided them on crop production.
However Abraham Lotyiang, another farmer from Nabilatuk district noted that the foretellers have always betrayed them and the only hope is the weather experts.
Lotyiang stressed that the predictions from the elders always occur by chance and it does not last for longer to support agriculture.
“They work sometimes but it is just something that happens after they have performed the rituals, so it is not necessary for farming” Lotyiang lamented.
He appealed to the weather experts to always give the farmers information on time so that they are able to prepare their gardens and start planting crops depending on their predictions.
Lotyiang also revealed that they always prepare their gardens in around the month of January, February and March will be a planting season depending on the rain pattern.
Karamoja Sub region has a single long rainy season between April and November. Then the rains peaks during April and May with a break in June and later return in July or August and continue throughout November.