Several farmers along the Uganda –Tanzania border in Isingiro District are crying foul after losing over 300 acres of crop gardens to Tanzanians.

Niwandinda Daniel
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Isingiro, Uganda |  FARHOOD MEDIA |  Several farmers along the Uganda –Tanzania border in Isingiro District are crying foul after losing over 300 acres of crop gardens to Tanzanians.
Farmers often cross to Tanzania through porous entry points during the planting season where they hire land from Tanzanian for farming.
However, the Ugandan farmers have now failed to cross to Tanzania to harvest their crops including maize, beans, cowpeas and sweet potatoes due to the closure of the borders because of the Covid19 lockdown.
The affected farmers are from Buhunga Central and Buhunga II villages in Buhunga Parish in Endiizi Sub County.
Isingiro is one of the border districts that are most affected by the Covid-19 preventive measures announced by government.
Elias Bamutonda, the Chairperson Buhunga Central Village, says that he has received 100 complaints from residents who hired land for cultivation in Tanzania.
Edith Taryesigabo, a resident of Buhunga II, says she hired five and half acres of land where she planted cassava and bananas that are due for harvest.
She however, says she can’t access the garden because of the border closure.
Wilber Anyijukire, another resident says he invested Shillings 1.5M in 15 acres of land where he planted bean this season. According to Anyijukire, he has lost 1.5 tons of beans worth Shillings 5 million. 
Zaituni Nakibuka Musinguzi, the Buhunga parish Councilor, says she has lost Shillings 2M because of failure to access her garden in Tanzania. She says they hire an acre of land at between Shillings 15000 and 20,000 compared to Uganda where they pay Shillings 50000. 

William Kubaryenda Rwakanuma, the Endiizi, Sub county LC 3 chairperson says it has been a norm for residents to hire land for cultivation in Tanzania.
He says they warned residents against crossing to Tanzanian but they were adamant. 
Herbert Muhangi, the Isingiro Resident District Commissioner, says those that claim to have crop gardens in Tanzania crossed illegally.
He says unless the government and Health Ministry lift the border closure those found crossing the border will be arrested and prosecuted. 
He says they have deployed soldiers, LDUs and police along the borderline to apprehend anybody found crossing into Tanzania.
Muhangi said Isingiro District has managed 1533 suspected Covid-19 suspects, most of whom were found crossing into Uganda through porous borders under the guise of returning from their gardens.
There are currently 69 suspected covid19 cases under at Kabahinda quarantine center in Isingiro District.

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