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Oil Palm farming to revive Buvuma economy

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Added 22nd June 2018 11:50 AM

As the lake was depleted due to a number of factors including over fishing, many were left jobless and had to look for an alternative source of income.

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Members of Parliament on the National Economy Committee visiting an Oil Palm Farmer Trail Garden in Tome Village, Buvuma Town Council together with the area MP Hon. Robert Migadde, Hon. Christopher Kibanzanga Minister of State, Agriculture and Hon. Syda Bumba, Chairperson of the Committee.

As the lake was depleted due to a number of factors including over fishing, many were left jobless and had to look for an alternative source of income.

Buvuma district is one of the few districts in Uganda which is 100% surrounded by the waters of Lake Victoria. Its residents therefore entirely depended on fishing which was also the major and sole revenue base.

As the lake was depleted due to a number of factors including over fishing, many were left jobless and had to look for an alternative source of income.

The only ready source was the forests which were degraded for firewood, charcoal and timber. Unfortunately; the district which would have restricted the residents from cutting the forests though they are very well aware of the dangers of deforestation to the environment, they have no alternative but to keep a deaf ear because they now depend on revenue collected from charcoal, firewood and timber.

Buvuma district Member of Parliament, Robert Migadde Ndugwa says that ten years ago as the leaders were asking themselves on what to do seeing the lake which was their sole dependent deteriorating and the forests too, there came the savior.

This was none other than President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who introduced the oil Palm farming to the islands. At least all the leaders who were not short sighted welcomed the idea seeing it as the only way Buvuma will regain its lost glory.

Migadde says that when they visited Kalangala district which had started the venture earlier alone and seen how far the oil palm had brought them from, they vowed to give the project more support.

“I realized that Kalangala gets sh160- 200m in a financial year from only BIDCO, the company which grows oil palm at Kalangala whereas the whole of Buvuma district now collects sh83m as local revenue in a financial year,” he said. Migadde adds: “Due to oil palm farming in Kalangala, the infrastructure also was improved, they have two modern ferries managed by Kalangala Infrastructural Services (KIS) which concurrently runs from Bukakata landing site in Masaka district to Bugoma landing site Kalangala.

On addition to that, National Oil Distributors Ltd runs the MV Kalangala Vessel plying the Kalangala-Entebbe route which mostly transports tourists, bulk luggage and trucks. BIDCO helped in improvement of the road network for Kalangala, health and education sectors in terms of social cooperate responsibility,” He says that though Kalangala is also entirely enclosed on water, through BIDCO, it was given high voltage solar power which lights the whole island.

He adds that the employment rate in Kalangala is also very high as the residents work in oil palm plantations for BIDCO and the others for the out growers. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THIS STORY 

 

 

 

 

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