Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Lango Cooperative Union leaders are in talks with Smaz-Group, a German investor to lease some of its land to boost investment in the region.
The land measuring 1,165 hectares is located at Angayiki village, Chawente sub county in Kwania district. The land will be leased to the investor for five years.
Formed in the 1950’s by cotton farmers in the greater Lango sub-region, Lango Cooperative Union lost all its assets in the early 1980’s to commercial banks and some unscrupulous individuals. However, the union reclaimed its land in Angayiki in the on-going struggle to repossess its prime assets.
Maxwell Akora, the Lango Cooperative Union chairperson who doubles as Maruzi County MP says the union has leased out the recovered Angayiki land, a move aimed at generating funds for the operationalization of the union’s primary societies.
“The land will be leased out for five years to raise money to help the 144 primary societies. This is aimed at generating 1.3 billion shillings as seed capital to farmers which will be recycled every season to run the union activities.”
According to Akora, once the deal materializes, the German investor will develop infrastructures, put up an irrigation system, process and distribute quality seeds to farmers and later buy at good prices for export while after the lease, the assets built by the investor will be repossessed by the Union.
He said the German investor will also build a technical school for training farmers, and 15% profit gained by the investor will be shared by Lango Cooperative Union.
He adds that the long term lease of the land will see the investor pay 1.1 million shillings per acre to the union to secure the land from encroachers and create employment to the locals.
Tom Neo, one of the prominent farmers asked the union leadership to be transparent and accountable while implementing the Memorandum of Understanding.
Another farmer Brenda Akidi, a member of Aninolal Primary Cooperative Society welcomed with excitement the move to lease out the land to an investor. Akidi is optimistic that leasing the land to an investor will not only save the land from encroachers but also provide jobs to farmers.