By Joseph Odama
Arua-Farmers have told the district leaders of Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) to stop supplying seedlings late.
The farmers, during a meeting at Heritage Courts on Monday, said this was causing loses to them and the government.
One of the farmers, Jonson Obitre said supply of local inputs by the locals within the region can enhance sense of accountability by the supplier to OWC.
“If it is done by the local supplier, he/she can be tasked to resupply the same input of a better quality hence hindering distribution of fake seeds, seedlings and animals,” he said.
Two years ago, farmers were supplied with dry cassava stalks and seedlings which failed to germinate. The district leaders have also called on government to revisit the methods of implementation of the program.
Arua Vice LCV chairman, Genesis Dria Acema said in the process of monitoring these OWC projects, he discovered that there is late delivery of inputs, off season delivery of input, lack of irrigation schemes for year-round production and disease and pests invasions.
The vice LCV requested the ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries to lay more strategies of evaluating the past challenges and successes so as to help farmers bet up their production from this year.
But the Assistant Commissioner in the ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries, Consolata Acayo says local suppliers can be awarded contracts once they have shown interest.
Some of the seedlings being supplied in Yumbe and Arua districts. Photos by Elema Robert & Aluma Aribo.
“It is a wrong mindset for people to always keep blaming OWC or NAADS in the implementation process of this program without someone evaluating his or her mind set change for improved production,” Acayo stressed.
She said it is true that number of personnel is not yet to the expected which she said is a three years program to get the expected number of extension workers of 4,990 across Uganda.
Director of coffee, tea and cocoa under operation wealth creation, Canon John Charles Anywar who represented the country director of OWC, Gen Salim Saleh says poor bargaining power in sale of farm produce by the farmers is one of the issues that will have to be addressed.