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Government distributes seeds to boost oil seed production in Northern Uganda

Soya beans

Lira, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) has distributed 75 tons of sunflower and 500 tons of Soya beans to 22 cooperative societies in Lango and Acholi sub region.

The oil seeds were distributed to cooperative societies from Lango sub region including Alito Joint Multipurpose Cooperative in Kole, Okwang Farmers’ Cooperative in Otuke, and Lira Diocese Multipurpose Cooperative Sacco in Lira among others.

Dr. Charles Aben, the in charge Crop Development at NAADS Secretariat explains that the distribution of oil seeds is in line with government’s plans to boost oil seed production and increase local production of vegetable oil in Northern Uganda.

According to him, Lango and Acholi sub region have been chosen because they already have high production of sun flower.

Under this program, the government will use cooperatives and large scale farmers to grow the products. Already, 48 large scale farmers majorly from Nwoya in Acholi sub region and 22 cooperatives have been identified and supplied with seeds to implement the project.

Dr. Aben explains that the production will not only help government but also promote the economic growth of Northern Uganda.

However, Anthony Badru Ocen, the General Manager of Nyekorac Farmers’ Cooperative Society in Ogur sub county, Lira district wants government to consider investing more money into the cooperative instead of providing seeds because many of their farmers have already planted other oil seeds.

Denis Ogwok, the secretary at Wiiodyek Oil Seed Farmers’ Cooperative says government should have distributed only sunflower instead of soya beans saying climatic changes are now affecting productivity of soya beans.

Meanwhile Fredrick Doi, the Regional Manager at Uganda Oil Seed Producer and Processors expressed discomfort over how cooperatives are being exploited by other multinational agents who have access to loans and large markets

“Those who know that they are not competent enough to run the cooperatives should agree and step down and allow capable people to take charge so that we take charge of our economy.” He called on cooperatives to invest more on farm mechanizations to promote production efficiency.

Over the years, the government in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has been implementing the Vegetable Oil Development Project (VODP) with the objective of increasing household income by increasing domestic vegetable oil production (palm oil in the south and oil seeds in the north) in partnership with the private sector.



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