Farmers Demand for By-Laws on Environmental Protection

By our reporter

Rukiga.

Farmers in Rukiga district are calling on authorities to pass by laws on environmental protection if they are to benefit from their agricultural products.

This was raised by farmers during a one day sensitisation meeting organised by Kyosiga Kyokungula One Voice Campaign (KKOVC), a local community based organisation at Kasambya sub-county in Rukiga district yesterday.

In September, heavy rains hit Rukiga district affecting most gardens in the area causing immense loss to farmers. According to James Kagina, a resident of Nyakariba village in Kasambya sub-county most farmers have not respected environmental protection calls which has led to more destruction during heavy rains.

“Traditional farming practices like the use of contours and terraces have been abandoned by our farmers. We believe that the only way this can be restored is through the passing of bylaws towards such effect,” said Kagina.

Willy Tugumisirize, another farmer said that if local authorities pass by laws and emphasize them, farmers would have no option but to follow them.

“Without laws nothing is going to happen. We need a serious strategy because every time rains set off we prepare for losses,” said Tugumisirize.

Andrew Mwebesa, an agricultural trainer said that most farmers have reluctantly failed to respect the farming practices that were used in the past giving fake excuses. He believes that by laws will be efficient in solving this challenge.

“Farmers continue to allege that their lands are not big enough to apply some of these agricultural procedures but after losing their crops they still wonder what went wrong,” said Mwebesa.

Innocent Tugume, the KKOVC managing director said that training farmers on the best practices will help them acquire skills that will ensure more production and guarantee an efficient sector.

“We still believe that our farmers can perform better than they are doing now. What is necessary is more sensitisation to the farmers,” said Tugume.

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