Farmers from newly created sub counties demand for Government Extension workers

AMURU – Farmers in newly created Lakang and Layima sub-counties in Amuru district are demanding for deployment of extension workers to boost their agricultural knowledge.

The two sub-counties were curved out of Amuru County last financial year. They are known for massive production of rice, groundnuts, maize and soya beans.

Cosmas Apuke, the LC III Chairperson of Layima sub-county says, all along farmers in Layima sub-county have not been receiving agricultural extension services from the government extension workers.

According to Apuke, this has affected the quality of agricultural products due to the limited knowledge possessed by the farmers.

“We have majorly been relying on experts from private farms who have been supporting us as a corporate social responsibility which cannot be sufficient for farmers to ensure quality adequate knowledge which manifests in the quality of goods they produce,” Apuke observes.

Denis Oringa, a resident of Palema Trading Center in Layima sub-county says, many people have opened shops selling agricultural inputs without giving them any clear information on how to apply the inputs like chemicals on their gardens and mixing drugs for treatment of their animals and birds.

“Several agricultural input dealers have opened up shops here aware that we lack expert knowledge to help us. What bothers me is that they are not qualified to help us, yet we go to them because we can’t easily access the government extension workers who should advise us on which quantity of input we can use for us to get high yields but also quality of products,” Oringa explains.

According to Oringa, if government extension workers are accessible, they would help fill the gap of fake or uneducated agricultural input dealers who are taking advantage of the situation, yet negatively impacting on the quality of their farm products.

Anthony Oringa, the LCIII Chairperson of Lakang sub-county says, on several occasions, he has made contacts with the district to ensure the extension workers are deployed.

“Lakang has very fertile land and would be a great advantage if the farmers have the right right knowledge,” says Oringa.

He further says, the major effect has been felt on the quality of the goods which has seen middlemen produce buyers take advantage of and play around with prices.

Michael Lakony, the LCV Chairperson Amuru district says, the district has currently deployed two extensions workers, Julius Otim for crops and Bruce Nokrach for veterinary services who are working in the sub-counties of Amuru, Lakang and Layima. There are plans for each sub-county to have one extension worker.

“Currently due to the limited human resource, we have deployed two extension workers to serve the three sub-counties. We have made sure that we have both crops and veterinary experts to help our farmers who have been attributing the low quality of products to the limited knowledge,” Lakony notes.

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