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Katakwi Farmers Forced to Pay for Dry Cassava Cuttings

In September last year, the company supplied over 300 bags of cassava cuttings from Masindi district to farmers in Palam Sub County. The inputs have since remained wasted at the sub-county headquarters.
Emmy Ogirot, the Palam Sub County Chairperson standing infront of the cassava cuttings dumped at the sub county headquarters.

Audio 3

A row has erupted between farmers of Palam Sub County and the NUSAF 3 officials in the Katakwi district over the procurement of cassava cuttings by Divine Organic Foods Company.

In September last year, the company supplied over 300 bags of cassava cuttings from Masindi district to farmers in Palam Sub County. The inputs have since remained wasted at the sub-county headquarters.

The farmers in Palam claim that the cassava stems were supplied after the rains. They also argue that the supplier failed to adhere to the instructions of the cassava variety they wanted. 

Naome Ariko, the chairperson of Aleles C Farmer group, one of the beneficiary groups that had requested for the cassava cuttings says after requesting for cassava cuttings, the supplier took his time to deliver. She notes that after dumping the cassava cuttings at the sub-county headquarters, the supplier is now demanding payment.

  Ariko says the supplier wants 60% payment for the cassava cuttings that dried before delivery. 

Ateso bite;

“We waited for their response until last time when we went to Soroti to withdraw money. They followed us to the bank to demand for payment of 60% but we stood our ground. If we are to pay them, may be 40% but if they refuse, we shall not bend to their demands”.

// Cue in “Idarit isio abongokinet…

Cue out…ikunyari anen”//

Peter Omongin, the General Secretary of Oliango B ox traction group in Palam sub county says they were forced to take up cassava enterprise when the NUSAF 3 officials declined to take their request for groundnuts. He adds that although the groups wanted NARO Cass 1, the supplier instead supplied them NASSE 14 and other varieties.

He explains that the officials have tasked them to either pay the money or miss out other NUSAF inputs. 

Ateso bite;

“We are forced to pay for these cassava stems in order to benefit from other NUSAF programs. There is a lot of money in NUSAF including oxen and ox-ploughs at stake if we don’t pay the money. We are told that we cannot benefit from them without clearing this supplier. We are now in dilemma. First, we didn’t want cassava, secondly, they delivered them late and thirdly, they brought mixed varieties and they were dry already”.

// Cue in “Isio abuikinio aitac…

Cue out…aokitos da”//

Deborah Alakas, the NUSAF 3 Community Facilitator in Palam sub-county argues that although the supplier delayed, the community signed the Local Purchase Order that the supplier followed.

She revealed that the supplier demands 25 million shillings.

// Cue in “The only mistake is…

Cue out…certain percentage”//

Emmy Ogirot, the Palam sub-county chairperson wants both the supplier and the NUSAF officials questioned for supplying dry cassava cuttings. He told URN that the cassava cuttings have since littered the sub-county headquarters when the beneficiaries declined to take them. 

By the time of filing this story, attempts for the comment from the supplier went futile when the officers declined to share his contact.