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Kamwenge Farmers Demand Three-Phase Connection to Power Value Addition Facilities

The government, together with farming cooperatives in the district established four facilities as one of the measures to promote value addition to agricultural produce and boost household income for farmers.
17 Aug 2022 18:14
Farmers at Nkoma in Rwamwanja showing the Minister of Agriculture Animal industry and fisheries Machines installed by Nkoma Farmers

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Farmers in Kamwenge district have asked the government to expedite a plan for extending power supply to the four value addition facilities in the district.

The government, together with farming cooperatives in the district established four facilities as one of the measures to promote value addition to agricultural produce and boost household income for farmers.

They include Kabambiro Progressive Farmers’ Cooperative Society Ltd, Kamwenge Tukolerehamwe Area Cooperative Enterprise, Masaka Ward Bataakakweyamba Cooperative Society and Nkoma Area Cooperative Society. The government has invested 2.4 billion Shillings in matching grants subsidies and agro-inputs to give life to the project which is implemented under the Ministry’s Agriculture Cluster Development Project.

These funds were used to construct milling Houses, Renovation of storage facilities, Expansion of drying yards and purchase and installation of maize hullers and milling machines. Although the facilities are now fully equipped with heavy and modern milling machines, they have remained non-functional due to a lack of three-phase power connectivity.

Joseph Baziirake, a farmer and chairperson of the Masaka Ward Batakakweyamba cooperative society told the Uganda Radio Network in an interview, that the government invested over 162 million Shillings in their project which might go to waste if they do not get the power connections required to run the machines.

Herbert Murungi, another farmer attached to Kamwenge Tukolerehamwe Area Cooperative Enterprise told the Uganda Radio Network that the projects have remained idle for more than a year, yet it's costly to run them using a generator.

Kamwenge District Chairman Joseph Karungi says that while the power lines are close to some of the facilities, they can only supply single-phase power yet the facilities require three-phase power lines to become operational. He says that he has notified the relevant ministries about the need.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Agriculture Extension Services and Skills Management Dr Henry Nakalet Opolot says that the ministry is aware of the problem.

//Cue in; "ok we also...

Cue out...not only in Kamwenge.”//  

Charlotte Kemigisha, the Public Relations Manager at the Ministry of Agriculture said that the  Ministry has undertaken an assessment of the power needs of the facilities in 57 districts with similar projects.

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