The Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Frank Kagyigyi Tumwebaze has commissioned agro-processing machinery and provision of agro-inputs to four farmer organizations and 8,628 individual farmers in Kamwenge District respectively.
In partnership with the World Bank, Government of Uganda has invested Shs2,438,428,565 in matching grants subsidies and agro inputs.
This exercise is being implemented under the Ministry’s Agriculture Cluster Development Project funded by the World Bank over a period of six years and implemented in 57 districts of Uganda.
In Kamwenge, four farmer cooperative societies have benefited from this intervention and they include Kabimbiro Progressive Farmers’ Cooperative Society Ltd, Kamwenge Tukolerehamwe Area Cooperative Enterprise, Masaka Ward Bataakakweyamba cooperative society and Nkoma Area Cooperative. This intervention is geared towards promoting value addition to agricultural produce to boost household incomes for farmers
These funds have specifically been used to construct milling Houses, Renovation of storage facilities, Expansion of drying yards and fencing of the same and purchase and installation of maize hullers and milling machines.
The funds are also being used to procure tarpaulins, fertilizer, herbicides, and and hermatic bags for the farmers in Kamwenge District and some of this fund has also been used to build the farmers’ technical capacity in post-harvest handling practices and smart agronomic practices
Minister Tumwebaze implored the community to collectively tackle the problem of household poverty saying there was the ability to achieve more together as a team
“Working together as farmers, you will achieve more. I encourage you to focus on engaging in developmental activities collectively so that you have more money in your pocket. Together with the technical teams, I will follow up the issue of electricity connectivity with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development so that your machines are functional at a cost friendly price,” Tumwebaze said.
While addressing farmers at the gathering, the Commissioner Agriculture Extension Services and Skills Management Dr. Henry Nakalet Opolot said that there are some farmers who never received inputs they had paid for and pledged that all farmers affected by this will have their money refunded.
“We have registered success with the project’s objectives but we have also had some challenges where farmers’ money was withheld by the previous service provider. I would like to reassure you today that we have a new service provider on board that will address those issues and ensure that we have no recurrence of this problem. I would like to also reassure all of you farmers whose money has been withheld with no supplies made that your money will be refunded,” Dr. Opolot said.
The District LCV Chairman Joseph Karungi extended his gratitude to the Government of Uganda through Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries for the increased involvement of their stakeholders in the implementation of Government programs and implored them to make good use of the opportunities presented to them.
“You will agree that our lives as farmers are not the same since we started participating in this project. Our lives have been greatly improved. Let us continue to dwell on those things that improve our lives and leave the negative people alone,” Karungi said.