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West Nile Leaders Task MAAIF on Delayed Oil Seed Roads :: Uganda Radionetwork

West Nile Leaders Task MAAIF on Delayed Oil Seed Roads

A farmer transporting produce to market on one of the newly constructed roads (Courtesy Photo)

Audio 4

West Nile Sub-region leaders have decried the delayed commencement of road construction works under the National Oil Seeds Project (NOSP).

Launched in July 2021, the National Oil Seeds Project, one of the Uganda government’s initiatives to support farmers involved in oil seed production, value addition and infrastructure development for market linkage is being implemented in 81 districts.

Under the project, the government plans to construct and rehabilitate 2,500 kilometres of roads situated in and around the six oil seed clusters and installation of drainage structures to improve local-level public transportation infrastructure to facilitate the commercialization of the oil seed sector.

However, speaking during a regional planning and review meeting for the project in the Arua district on Tuesday, the leaders challenged the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) to prioritise the component of market linkage infrastructure.

Robert Omito Steen, the Pakwach District Chairperson explained that the delayed commencement of the proposed Oil seed roads has forced farmers in the sub-region to lose interest in the project.

//Cue in; “Oil seed roads...

Cue out…full of narration.”//

Nebbi District Chairperson Emmanuel Urombi believes that the government should have prioritised the market linkage infrastructures through the construction of the planned feeder and community access roads to facilitate access to markets for the farmers in the sub-region.

//Cue in; “How are we...

Cue out…in the market.”//

Meanwhile, Ashraf Mambo, the Koboko district chairperson wonders why the Ministry of Agriculture has taken so long to call for bids when most of the paperwork for the proposed roads was done by the local governments. Mambo says that delay threatens their political careers.

//Cue in; “This is becoming...

Cue out…going to transport.”//

In the West Nile sub-region, At least 12 roads and 21 road links estimated to be 220 kilometres have been earmarked for construction or rehabilitation in the project. Meanwhile, two bridges in Madi Okollo and Zombo districts are also set to be constructed.

But, Chris Gumisiriza, the Project Manager of the  National Oil Seeds Project blamed the delayed kick-off of the road works on the hurdles encountered while securing environmental briefs from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).

He adds that they are now planning to advertise for bids from competent firms to take the road construction projects.

//Cue in; “We are going...

Cue out…has come through.”//

The National Oil Seeds Project is a seven-year government of Uganda project funded with a loan worth USD 99.56 million from the International Fund for Agriculture Development-FAD and USD 30 million from the OPEC Fund for International Development. The project is expected to end in July 2028. 

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