President Yoweri Museveni has faulted district technical staff including veterinary and agriculture officers for failing to advice farmers on modern agro production and nutritious pasture for animals, leading to poor production.
“The movement granted many districts so as to extend services closer to the people but it’s surprising that majority of the farmers are not sensitized on important modern farming methods with all these agricultural extension workers at district and sub-county levels” he said before calling the former Minister for Lands Kasirivu Atwoki who is a professional veterinary doctor to inform the gathering about the most nutritious pasture for cows.
The President was on Tuesday handing over twenty Massey Ferguson agricultural tractors to twenty farmers groups and individuals from different parts of the country.
The donations are a result of the pledges that the President made during his national mobilizations on the poverty alleviation campaign. He appealed to the beneficiaries to diligently take care of the tractors (model MF 290 – 4WD, HP 82) that come complete with four disc ploughs, disc hurrow (HD), four row planters and five ton tipping trailer so as to enable them last longer and serve the purpose they are meant for which is to improve and modernize agriculture and get rid of poverty.
While addressing the beneficiaries at the handover ceremony at Kololo airstrip in Kampala, the President said that the national Resistance Movement has for long embraced the mechanization of agriculture by giving tractors to farmers in different parts of the country but noted that the challenge has been poor handling and maintaining.
“In 1967, I was starting a farm in Rwakitura and I went to Mbarara farm mechanized unit. They came and cleared twice for me. However, when I went back again the tractors were no more. The problem of tractors in Uganda is who to give them to. When I came from the bush, I bought 35 tractors and gave them to Luwero, they disappeared. I said if I give individuals, they may look after them very well but if it’s a group who looks after them. An individual can plough for himself and for others,” he said.
The President said government is capable of procuring tractors for the farmers or buy and give them to cooperative groups or as interest free loans but the challenge has been poor handling and maintaining.
“Since you asked me, I have used my small budget of the President to buy for you these tractors. This is my budget not the budget of government which is big. We can’t provide these to all farms, but let’s use these as model farmers from whom others can learn from. We want to use you as an experiment,” he said, noting that government problem is not lack of funds to procure tractors for farmers but rather how to channel them to farmers and the guarantee of their maintenance.
The 20 tractors that cost Shs 100 million were handed to Ntenjeru North constituency,Rwenzururu Kingdom veteran, St. Joseph Vocational School in Kamuli district, Ntoroko Constituency, elders of Pader district, Nkokonjeru Catholic Sisters, Bushenyi District, Ntenjeru South Constituency, Usuk county, Hon. Vincent Nyanzi, Sr. Caritas Balangingitwa Orphanage, elders of Agago, Kiboga district, Kapelebyong county, Maanyi war veterans association, Soroti diocese Church of Uganda, Emsco development foundation in Kibaale, Bulambuli District, Alero farmers group in Nyoya district and St. Peter’s Seminary Madera/Soroti.
Source The New Vision