Each of the project beneficiaries are required to first deposit a total of 168,000 shillings to an account in United Bank of Africa-UBA, before they are given implements that can cater for a plantation; measuring to one acre.
Benon Kayima, the Byakabanda sub county youth chairperson, says the precondition of making a payment before getting the inputs, is standing as an obstacle to many intending farmers in the villages who cannot raise the required fees.
Farmers in Rakai district are protesting the conditions imposed on
them to access inputs distributed under the Agricultural Cluster Development
In November last year, government through the Ministry of
Agriculture initiated a five-year project with an aim of raising on-farm
productivity, production, and marketable volumes of selected agricultural
commodities in specific geographical clusters.
Under the project, farmers are asked to register through an
electronic voucher management system before they are given agricultural inputs,
fertilizers and pesticides in a cost-sharing arrangement.
The project is supported with a tune of USD 249-million,
government secured from the World Bank to implement it for five years.
However, the project’s implementation process in Rakai district
has been received with mixed feelings from farmers. They are protesting the
money they are required to contribute as a precondition to getting the
Each of the project beneficiaries are required to first deposit a
total of 168,000 shillings to an account in United Bank of Africa-UBA before
they are given implements that can cater for a plantation; measuring to one
Benon Kayima, the Byakabanda sub-county youth chairperson, says
the precondition of making a payment before getting the inputs, is an obstacle
to many farmers in the villages who cannot raise the required fees.
Kayima demands that government should instead allow the
beneficiaries pay the money after the season’s harvest when they have earned
proceeds from the farms.
//Cue in: “kino kiri
Cue out; …..muba temuyambye.”//
Bernard Lukeera Burimuye, the Kyandaza village chairperson has
also protested the continuous distribution of unsolicited farm inputs like
coffee seedlings, cassava cuttings among others given out under the Operation
Wealth Creation-OWC, arguing that many of these are being wasted in villages
without serving the intended purposes.
He argues that OWC coordinators are fond of forcing inputs on
farmers just for the sake of filling accountability forms.
//Cue in “eky’amazima emmwanyi…..
Cue out; …..naye ssibyenjagala.”//
However, Yusuf Lubega, the Rakai district Agricultural and
Production Officer has during a farmers’ sectoral sensitization meeting at the
district headquarters, indicated that the project is implemented under a
cost-sharing partnership between government and the farmers.
Lubega argues that the project is being implemented in what he
describes as most transparency manner and that farmers can join at free will.
//Cue in: “government mu project…..
Cue out; ……council ya district
On the unsolicited agriculture inputs, Lubega pledged to speak to
the OWC coordinators to streamline the operations, urging residents not to sign
for supplies they did not request for.