AGRICULTURE | OWC
KABALE - The Kabale resident district commissioner, Darius Nandinda, has warned politicians in Kigezi region against interfering with the execution of Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) programme.
Nandinda said some politicians in the region have developed a tendency of undermining the role of OWC officials and they are trying to interfere in their operations.
He asked all politicians who have issues against the implementation of the programme in their various districts to report to the relevant authorities for intervention, instead of using their political influence to fight them.
“Why do you want to divert our commanders and follow the Opposition’s beliefs that they are not professional? If you have a problem with our commanders, report to the authorities,” Nandinda said.
He was speaking at the closure of the NAADS/OWC zonal review and planning workshop for Kigezi sub-region at Cephas inn, Kabale in Kabale municipality.
The workshop was organised under the theme, Transformation of agriculture sector through value chain development for increased household income and food security.
Nandinda asked the NAADS secretariat to be more on ground if their projects are to be beneficial to Ugandans. Citing the tea project, he noted that a lot needs to be investigated in order to have the farmers benefit from this venture.
“There is a lot of dirt in the tea project mainly caused by those who are championing it. After the delayed payment of farmers by the Government, some selfish people are using this opportunity to buy tea cheaply, making our farmers hate the NRM Government that encouraged them to plant tea,” said Nandinda.
During the workshop, stakeholders blamed the NAADS secretariat for supplying poor quality inputs, which have not yielded much for the beneficiary farmers in the region.
Dr Bernard Kabagambe, the Kabale district veterinary officer, noted that most of the animals supplied in the programme are not of the rightful quality and despite their efforts to express their dissatisfaction with the breeds, their views were not considered.
“Kabale has good cows and you are giving us cows from other areas that do not match our standards. If you compare the animals we were supplied during the previous NAADS programme with those supplied recently, there is a big difference in the quality,” said Kabagambe.
Justine Tibenderana, a farmer from Bugangari sub-county in Rukungiri district asked the NAADS secretariat to involve local authorities in procurement of inputs to supply to the farmers.
“We have a serious problem where you find that our district technical teams cannot reject inputs that have already been delivered to their offices for planting. We, therefore, requst that before such undertakings, let our technical teams be involved in selection of inputs,” Tibenderana said.
Peter Turiyo, the Kanungu district production officer, asked the secretariat to consider supplying a full package of inputs to farmers if they are to benefit from the programme.
“It is evident that our soils have lost fertility. We pray that as you supply inputs to us, you include fertilisers to help in boosting production,” said Turiyo.
Jogo Kenneth Biryabarema, the Rubanda district chairperson, faulted the NAADS secretariat for always making impromptu visits to input suppliers.
“I have always wondered why the secretariat members do not seek our guidance whenever they come here so that they can be helped on the right places to find input,” said Biryabarema.
Responding to stakeholders’ concerns, Prossy Mutumba, a crop development officer from the NAADS, said they will consult local authorities in the selection of input to use in their districts.