The team started its work on Thursday last week
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has commissioned a team of investigators to go on a fact finding mission on the impact of the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) in the community.
OWC is an intervention that President Museveni launched in July 2013 to create a system that facilitates effective national socio-economic transformation with a focus on raising household incomes for poverty eradication and sustainable wealth creation.
Under the OWC, officers from the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) were deployed in all districts of Uganda to monitor and foresee the wealth creation programme that has in the past two years put emphasis on cash crops that among others include coffee, tea and cocoa.
Sarah Kagingo the head of communication OWC told New Vision that the fact finding mission aims at establishing the survival rate of the coffee and other cash crops that were distributed to farmers last year in 2015 and to also ascertain the level of farmer preparedness for the next planting season.
The team started its work on Thursday last week and a number of farmers and nursery operators have since been visited and assessed.
“We have established that a number of nursery operators contracted to supply seedlings have been duping farmers while others have been forging figures and conniving with district officials to endorse their payment” Kagingo said as she toured cadet nursery bed in Kasenda sub county Kabarole district on Monday.
Kagingo revealed that whereas the paper work indicates that a lot of coffee was purchased and given to farmers some of it died because of drought while the rest was dumped and abandoned.
“Some farmers whose names appear on the list as having received huge sums of coffee seedlings are not coffee farmers at all. Some actually do not even have the land where the coffee that was allegedly supplied to them can be planted” Kagingo said.
In some areas, Kagingo said that suppliers dumped coffee seedlings at peoples’ homes who had not even requested for them.
Maj. James Nkojo the public relation officer OWC said that some of the in-calf heifers that were expensively purchased by government last year have to date failed to deliver while others have mysteriously died.
“We are going to seek explanation from the district production officers as to why they recommended their districts to receive ill animals in their respective districts” Nkojo said.
In Kasenda Sub County Kabarole district, the team discovered coffee seedlings worth sh40m that was dumped last season.
“Whereas the government in its books knows that the all the coffee to bought for farmers was planted, the story is so different in the field. This is so dangerous and can’t be accepted because the suppliers are cheating government” Nkojo said.
Nkojo has also stressed the need for consulting farmers on what they would wish to plant before procurement and supply of planting materials is made.
He adds that farmers also need to be tipped on good farming practices before the planting materials are delivered to ensure that at least a good number of seedlings survive.