Agricultural – zootechnical

The Karamoja region extends over a wide area in the northeastern part of Uganda for a total area of ​​approximately 24,000 sq. Km. (About 10% of the country). The most obvious physical characteristics of the region are represented by "Karamoja Plain": a large erosion surface made up of volcanic masses of vulcanic origin that emerge ash in the plain, and large sandy beds within which discontinuously develop Streams forming the plateau water system.

The climate in Karamoja is semi-dry, characterized by a single rainy season and a long dry season. The rainy season generally begins between the end of March and the beginning of April, continuing with some irregularities and touching minimum levels between June and September - sometimes until early October - when the dry season begins.

The population is predominantly made up of seminomadi shepherds who move in search of water and pasture for their zebu herds in the dry season, returning to their permanent villages in the rainy season. Herd care is a activity for young men; Women, the elderly and the children stay home by practicing small forms of farming. Economic life is mainly focused on the possession of livestock, which remains the main means of wealth and exchange. This encourages young people to make it at all costs, including by means of violent raids to neighboring tribes (the dowry to have a bride is paid in number of livestock).

The livestock represents, for the Karimojong, the main livelihood instrument, as well as a genuine insurance against periodic famines, wealth for bridal gifts, and a symbol of social status. Livestock supplies food, clothing, and bedbugs, while goats, though giving origin to the same products, are purely intended for ritual use.

Pasture areas are commonly owned land outside the areas where livestock is kept, although dairy cows sometimes remain close to home. During the harshest months, usually in February and March, the cattle are moved to longer fires.

Farming in Karamoja, which is the main source of livelihood for the local population, is constrained by the seasonal trend that weighs on animal productivity.

Water shortages, besides affecting livestock, heavily compromise agricultural production.

Cultivations of some species of grain (sorghum and in part maize) are tempted after each rain until June, in order to allow subsistence in the period of migration of livestock to external pastures and periods of famine. These forms of soil exploitation also depend on atmospheric precipitation.

Along with the lack of water, a further threat is represented by the environmental degradation in the region and stronger on the semi-arid plateau of central Karamoja Karamoja, which forms much of Karamoja. Here there are clear signs of desertification, as well as a loss of surface soil due mainly to the indiscriminate as widespread cutting of trees to obtain firewood for domestic purposes. In sub-Saharan Africa more than 500 million people depend on firewood to produce the energy they need.

The major threats to the environment are dictated by large concentrations of people and livestock, from the onset of cities and the persistence of inappropriate agricultural practices.

The inadequate development of water resources has, in turn, caused considerable environmental degradation. Large herds of cattle mingle near these points of watering, burning vegetation and exposing the soil, as a result, to the erosion of water and wind.

Karimojong ecology can be defined as a fierce and multifaceted exploitation of a semi-arid habitat whose natural resources are precarious for the purpose of human subsistence and frequently subject to poorly predictable fluctuations.

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