Sixteen value addition facilities belonging to farmers cooperative societies in Bushenyi district under the Agriculture Cluster Development Project-ACDP have remained almost 5 years since completion.
The facilities were established to help 9,750 farmers across the district with the market for their produce and subsidized agro-inputs. Using Matching grants to different farmer organizations the ACDP constructed 18 value addition facilities to collect and process 5 priority crops including Maize, Beans, Rice, Cassava, and coffee. However, only two of the facilities are operational.
These include 16 coffee processors and two bean sorters. Each farmer group received over Shillings 400 million to construct a warehouse and purchase machinery. Geoffrey Nkurunziza, the Bushenyi Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, says that most of these value addition facilities are not connected to power to run the machinery, which had rendered them idle.
He says that they are also faced with the challenge of budget cuts for road works despite the increasing coffee production. Jafari Basajjabalaba, the Bushenyi District LC V Chairperson, says that the idle equipment needs a three-phase power supply because it can not run on a generator.
He wants the central government to expedite the extension of electricity to rural areas to enable the project to start.
//Cue in: “ACDP project funded…
Cue out: …national grid continues.”//
Hon Robert Migadde, the Buvuma Island County Legislator and the Chairperson of the Committee on National Economy, says that the majority of ACDP projects across the country are idle due to a lack of electricity.
//Cue out: “tutambude ebitundu bingi…
Cue out: …aga three phases.”//
Benon Tumuhairwe, the Chairperson of Kahugye Coffee Growers Association, says that his group comprises 300 farmers who collect over 20000 tons of coffee every season. He, however, says that they cant process the coffee due to the lack of electricity to run their Machines.
He says that the contractor is yet to supply all the equipment due to a lack of electricity. The committee on the National Economy is moving across 12 districts in the country to monitor the ACDP Project being implemented through the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries.
The project that is jointly funded by the Government of Uganda and the World Bank started in Bushenyi district in February 2019 with only 7 sub-counties. However, it has since spread to 9 sub-counties, 5 town councils and 3 Municipality Divisions.