The hay making project has high potential in the three districts given the occurrence and severity of the dry weather conditions as well as abundance of grasses during the rainy season. There is however need to investigate behavior change among the farmers who have traditionally practiced free range grazing, particularly those who keep local breeds.
It was disclosed that local people dislike strenuous work such as that involved in hay making. Consequently hay making activity will require careful planning and integration within other activities that take place on the farm. This could necessitate the use of hired labor for hay making which has cost implications that farmers will have to consider.
Mapping of the social economic variables has revealed that there is potential for hay making and selling especially in Nakaseke Ngoma sub-county and parts of Nakasongola especially to the west, the north and lake side areas of the district. There is also interest in purchasing hay if available thus indicating the potential to enhance income, wealth and livelihoods of the producer communities
Recommendations and future opportunities for the Geo-mapping for Hay making in Climate Stressed Rangelands (Geo4HCR) project
- The project opened up a number of opportunities for future work e.g. mapping of grass nitrogen content (leaf Nitrogen) which is one of the most important nutrients in grass. The ESA Sentinel-2 due for launching in May 2015 should be explored on this variable.
- There is scope for extending the project area to the broad national and eventually regional scale.
- There is also potential for local farmers to partner with government agencies like the Ministry of Agriculture to make hay.
Research information dissemination
A special feature of the project was a research information dissemination workshop held during project completion. ESIPPS organized a workshop whose overall objective was to disseminate the research findings from GEO4HRC project and forging a pathway for taking forward the innovation on Geo-Mapping for Hay Making in Climate Stressed Rangelands. The objectives were achieved through practical demonstrations, presentations, laboratory exercises, plenary discussions, and field excursions. In addition participants were provided with material in form of brochures, project brief and policy briefs