- Mr John Bosco Akore, the secretary of the Kotido elders’ council said the prices of sorghum have become abnormal and this has affected families with fewer sources of income
The skyrocketing cereal prices in Karamoja sub-region have forced farmers in Kotido District to resort to harvesting pre-mature sorghum to save their families from dying of hunger.
The sorghum in Karamoja matures between 90 to 140 days and is ready for harvesting when the crop has reached physiological maturity the first season of sorghum is harvested between July and August while the second season goes from December to January. The planting season for this year started a bit late because of the drought.
Mr Emanuel Lokuda, a farmer in Kacheri Sub County said the high cereal prices caused by hunger have forced them to start harvesting their sorghum that still needs two more months to get ready.
He said it is only sorghum that can save them from the hunger crisis but it is taking longer and yet people are dying from starvation.
“It’s not right to do the harvest now but there’s nothing we can do because it is the only alternative we have for survival or else we shall die,” Mr Lokuda said.
Mr Peter Lodou, another farmer in the same village said that he is already smelling more danger ahead because the little sorghum they cultivated is being spoilt at an early stage.
“We can get a better harvest if we leave the sorghum to grow but now it’s not easy to wait for all that time when our children are starving,” he said.
Mr Lodou appealed to the government to speed up the food distribution exercise so that it saves the little sorghum now remaining in the gardens for future use.
This reporter has learnt that the sorghum that used to sell at Shs70,000 a bag of 100kg, is now selling at Shs130,000, which can’t be afforded by everyone.
Mr John Bosco Akore, the secretary of the Kotido elders’ council said the prices of sorghum have become abnormal and this has affected families with fewer sources of income.
“An individual to acquire a bag of sorghum needs to first sell two goats and not everyone has goats even. The situation is very bad and therefore, the government and development partners should intervene and save us before we die,” he said.
Mr Akore explained that from July to August, the retail sorghum price usually declines due to increased supply from local harvests, but this time around, there are minimal chances of the price dropping down following the hunger that has hit them.