Pader, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Up to 6,900 cassava farmers in Acholibur Sub-county in Pader district have asked Gen. Salim Saleh, the National Coordinator of the Operation Wealth Creation–OWC program to fulfill the pledges he made to them.
While delivering tons of cassava cuttings to the farmers in December 2017, Gen. Saleh promised to give them 400 oxen and 400 ox-ploughs to help boost commercial cassava growing in the district. However, to date the pledges haven’t been fulfilled.
The farmers claim that their attempts to follow up the matter with local leaders including the Resident District Commissioner and area MPs have proved futile. Cosmas Nyeko, the Cassava Farmer’s chairperson told URN that they also petitioned Dr. John Baptist Odama, the Archbishop of Gulu Archdiocese with whom OWC has partnered to promote cassava growing in the region in vain.
Robert Okumu, the Acholi Sub-County LC 3 Chairperson recalls that the General made the pledge to his people while he was commissioning the commercial cassava growing project on December 20th, 2017.
Attempts by Uganda Radio Network to contact General Salim Saleh to ascertain the claims by the farmers were futile as he couldn’t be reached on his phone.
When contacted, Dusman Okee, the Pader Resident District Commissioner admitted that his office, which is charged with monitoring government programs is following the matter and called for calm and patience from the farmers.
Gulu Archdiocese has embarked on a joint partnership with Operation Wealth Creation – OWC to rally farmers in Acholi region to undertake large scale cassava growing to improve household income and eradicate poverty.
Cassava is used as a raw material in the manufacture of processed food, animal feed and industrial products. Wider utilization of cassava products can be a catalyst for rural industrial development and raise the incomes for producers, processors and traders.