Koboko, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Over ten ox ploughs that were donated by president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni more than five years ago to promote agriculture mechanization and improve food production are still lying idle in the stores of Koboko Resident District Commoner’s office at Boma grounds.
Koboko District Production Officer Dr. Stephen Onzima, says that they failed to distribute the ox ploughs due to the absence of a list of beneficiaries list and clear guidelines.
“These ox ploughs were brought under the presidential Pledges. Unfortunately, the beneficiaries were not identified. They just brought them and said, this was a presidential Pledge. So how do you begin to look for people?” Onzima noted.
Mambo Ashraf, the Koboko District LC V Chairperson, says that the absence of oxen and trained personnel to use the ox-plough are critical areas of concern that should be addressed to maximize their usage.
“If the ox ploughs are there, do we have oxen and people trained to do the work? Those are the things I may be interested in to ensure that the ox ploughs are put to the right use, “said Mambo.
Joseph Mukiibi, Koboko Resident District Commissioner however expressed ignorance over the issue and demanded to engage with other relevant authorities before issuing a statement over the matter. Farmers in the district are bitter over the delayed distribution of the Ox ploughs noting that most of them still use hand hoes to cultivate their gardens.
Swaib Bashir, a resident of Dimveni Village, Ombaci Parish in Lobule Sub County says that the situation has undermined efforts by the farmers in his area to expand the quantity of food produced.
“Lobule has been the food basket for the people in Koboko District and the farmers are hard-working people but the absence of modern farming equipment is now limiting them from producing abundant food,” Swain said.
Ceaser Maliamungu, another farmer from Opasio Village in Dranya Sub-county, says that the delayed distribution of the ox ploughs has a direct bearing on the plan by farmers to modernize agriculture in the area.
An ox-plough is a single mouldboard plough that is hulled mainly by oxen although camels, donkeys, and mules can also be deployed. It remains the single most important primary tillage tool in Sub-Saharan Africa.