Any Season is Planting Season
By Ochoa Sam Oryem
Nakasongola: Unlike the days where the wet season is the only season to plant or grow crops, today, there are you can plant even in the dry season. With the devastating effects of the climate change like hunger and absolute poverty, you don’t have to be in the shadow anymore.
Nakasongola district is among the districts of Uganda that has suffered most the effects of the climate change. Some parts of the district have not yet received rain since the year begun. But some farmers there have continued to survive against odds and embarked on mechanisms to help them plant amidst high temperature.
Mrs. Nambi Betty is a farmer in Sikye Parish, Lwenyana Sub county. She grows tomatoes, cabbages, oranges and eggs plants. Nambi practices basin planting locally known as Embibiro (Fanya jju fanya chini) where seedlings are planted in holes. These holes help in water harvesting which keep the plants cool for a long time. Kitchen Garden is also her secret for survival. Nambi collects all her household water used in a day and uses it to irrigates her garden next to the kitchen. Nambi said “I realized that I waste a lot of water in a day. When I wash utensil, clothes and other things I used to pour the water away. But the dry spell has taught me to use that water to water my garden and it has worked for me.” Nambi also said that kitchen garden has enabled her to have food for her family at all times. “The most important thing is survival. It was very hard for us during dry season but now with my kitchen garden, at least I have something to cook every day. My children are healthy because they do not starve.”
Margaret Ssali is a farmer in Magingo village, Kisaalizi Parish, Lwampanga Sub county. Just like Nambi, Margaret practices both kitchen garden and basin planting. She said that kitchen garden has helped her not only to provide food for home consumption but also for sell. “Last year my kitchen garden of tomatoes yielded very many tomatoes that we couldn’t consume all. I sold some and used the money to pay for my daughter at school.” Unlike Nambi, Margaret is a member of a farmer group. Farmers group is an initiative of NADIFA to bring together farmers in to groups to come up with the solutions to the problems they face. Earlier last year, Tumwebaze United Farmers Group received a water harvesting reservoir and irrigation system from the Global Climate Change Adaptation (GCCA)-FAO Project. This water reservoir has helped change Margaret’s life. She now supplies the whole Lwampanga Sub county with tomatoes and cabbages during the dry spell. “Because of the dry spell, many farmers are not able to grow crops but for me, with the help of the water reservoir, I am able to grow crops regardless of the season. Any season is planting season for me.” She now owns one hectare of tomato garden and one hectare of cabbage garden. She however faces the challenges of stray animals, pest like termites, diseases and inadequate seeds.
“Do not wait for rain you can plant now”