BY RICHARD DRASIMAKU
TEREGO: Monday, August 09, 2021
Rose Obigah, the Woman Member of Parliament (MP) for Terego district has used sh56m out of the sh200m that the government had given for the MP’s transport vehicle to purchase banana suckers.
This is to aid the thousands of farmers left stranded by last year’s pullout of Alliance One Global Tobacco Company from promoting and buying green leaf tobacco from West Nile.
Majority of the about 20,000 tobacco farmers affected by the voluntary withdrawal of the tobacco company were in Terego district.
Obigah said the three lorry-full of suckers she has brought are only seed-plants that the recipients should use to multiply the planting materials.
“They are hybrid and drought tolerant ‘matooke’ and ‘gonza’ types of banana. These are perennial crops that you plant once and spend the rest of your time looking after them unlike the seasonal tobacco,” she explained.
Obigah said although she had made the point to help out former tobacco farmers with alternative crops during her campaigns, she expects the people to leave politics aside while distributing the suckers.
Herbert Jurua, the acting Terego district production officer, appreciated the MP for buying banana suckers saying that banana is one of the crops the district has identified as a replacement for tobacco.
“The other crop we have identified is coffee and some people are also proposing Hass avocados,” he said.
He advised that farmers must strictly observe the three squire metres spacing for the bananas and also dig planting holes three feet wide and three feet deep.
If you stick to the right spacing, you will have 450 planting holes in one acre of garden. When those start fruiting, you will get between sh4m to sh15m annually,” he said.
“He added: “The problem is, our people want money as soon as they plant things. With bananas it does not work like that, you need patience for at least one year.”