The minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, has advised farmers to record all their farming operations in the second cropping season of August to November.
“Farming is a business which thrives successfully on sound and proper book keeping principles as well as maintenance of good farm records. Farmers are therefore advised to record all their farming operations right from land preparations to marketing or consumption,” he said.
While addressing the press on Tuesday, Ssempijja noted that the preparations of gardens should have begun earlier before the planting season because the ongoing rains mark the onset of the second rainy season which is expected to be short.
“According to the climate outlook forum that sat on August 26, 2020, the weather for October to December 2020 is predicted to be drier than normal in the East African region. This means that the second season is likely to be short. Temperatures are also expected to be high with low rain fall that may end early,” he revealed.
He said that planting of crops such as cereals like maize, upland rice, sorghum, millet, and pulses like beans, ground nuts, soya beans, peas, cassava, potatoes, and vegetables like tomatoes, cabbages, onions, egg plants, pepper, and amaranth should have started at the onset of rains in August.
“For those farmers that did not plant at the onset of August rains, you are advised to finalize land preparation, acquire the right inputs like seeds, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides from the nearby recommended stockists and plant immediately,” Ssempijja advised.
He revealed that during the COVID-19 period, as concerns cash crops, Uganda shipped 543,251 (60kg bags) of coffee in the month of July 2020, up from 463,709 bags exported in the same month in 2019.
“This is the highest volume of coffee reported in the last 20 years. I congratulate you for this good performance and equally urge you to double your efforts to enable this country achieve its target of exporting 20 million coffee bags per annum, among other agricultural products,” Sempijja said.
Ssempijja also thanked farmers for the great effort employed to keep the agriculture sector afloat despite the prevailing challenges of the COVID -19 pandemic and unreliable weather conditions.
“In a special way, I continue to appreciate our crops, livestock and fisheries’ farmers that have sustained production in Uganda and have supplied the food, fiber and cash requirements for the population,” he said.