By Francis Emorut
Mara Group of Companies is to start large-scale farming in Bulambuli district in eastern Uganda after acquiring modern farming equipment.
Tractors equipped with trolleys were recently seen parked at the district headquarters, indicating that the investor was ready to start the project.
The chairman of Mara, Jagdish Thakkar, said the group is going to engage in cassava and maize growing on the 25,000 acres of land it recently acquired.
“We are ready to start the project, and we want to inform the residents that we are not here to grab their land,” Thakkar told the district leaders residents of Bulambuli last Friday.
Thakkar appealed to the residents to support the project, saying it will employ about 800 people in the area.
He lauded the Government for creating an enabling environment to do business, saying it has increased investor confidence in the country.
The head of the project, Hetal Shah, said the group will apply modern technology from India, the UK, Switzerland and Germany for the production of maize corn and starch.
Shah said they will use high quality combine harvesters and set up silos for storage.
The $15m (about sh39.8b) is the first of its kind in the district.
Bulambuli district chairman Simon Peter Wonyanzofu warned the investor against employing foreigners to do jobs local people can do.
“I don’t want to see only foreigners working on this project,” Wonyanzofu cautioned.
He also vowed not to release the tractors from the district headquarters until all the landowners have been fully paid.
“This is not an eviction, it is on the basis of willing seller and willing buyer,” Wonyanzofu noted.
A total of 610 landowners from Bwikhonge and Bunambuli are to be compensated. Thakkar said the money was given to the lawyer.
Agriculture large-scale farming project takes off in Bulambuli