Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Deputy chief coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation Lt. Gen Charles Angina has acknowledged that offseason delivery and the supply of fake and unsuitable inputs has been a major blow to the programme.
Implemented by the Uganda Peoples Defence Force-UPDF, under the National Agricultural Advisory Services-NAADS, the programme is a government intervention designed to eradicate poverty and facilitate the growth of household incomes through agriculture. It is Uganda’s biggest civil-military poverty alleviation operation ever implemented.
However, the programme has met strong criticism over the persistent late delivery and supply of inputs to farmers. Farmers from various parts of the country have consistently raised a red flag on the quality of inputs, some of which could not germinate were not suitable for the soils, and could not tolerate weather conditions in particular areas.
In Lira District, the fisheries department rejected a total of 39,000 Tilapia fingerlings that was supplied under the programme on the ground that they did not meet the required specification and quality. Farmers in Nakaseke district also complained that they were given too many mangoes and oranges yet they preferred food crops like maize and beans.
Several others argued that inputs were supplied long after the planting season. Livingstone Kategeya a farmer in Kamira Sub County, Luweero district explains that late delivery of inputs has led to losses because crops are affected by drought over late planting.
But Gen Angina says that the late delivery is beyond the mandate of OWC because procurement of inputs is the reserve of the NAADS secretariat. He is however optimistic that the matter will be resolved following interfaces with the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and President Yoweri Museveni.
Major Kiconco Tabaro, the Spokesperson of Operation Wealth Creation says they are making efforts to blacklist all suppliers named in the repeated distribution of fake inputs.
Recently General Salim Saleh the Chief Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation listed 25 challenges facing the programme and suggested changes to ensure the programme creates impact. Among the changes was the introduction of regional logistics hubs to serve as one-stop centres for all logistics supported by OWC (certified seeds, pesticides, market linkages, extension services among others.
Saleh said also suggested the introduction of E-voucher system to minimize delivery of low quality and quantity inputs, control price fluctuations, eliminate ghost suppliers, and stop selective distribution of inputs.