Kalangala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Patrick Kankaka, a pioneer palm oil outgrower in Kalangala, has died aged 76 years.
Kankaka was among the first 10 farmers who planted oil palm in Beta East Bloc, Mugoye Sub County, Kalangala District in 2008 when the island population was still suspicious and resisting the new crop.
In 2008, the islanders defied the growing of palm oil on their land claiming that Oil Palm Uganda Limited (OPUL) was in a deal with Government to grab their land.
Kankaka and 10 others accepted to grow Palm Oil on their land which inspired other farmers to accept the project.
From his 12 acres of palm oil, Kankaka informed the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture on their pilot study in 2018 on the project which is yet to be introduced in Buvuma Islands, that he has managed to earn pay school fees and feed his children on proceeds of Palm Oil.
Kankaka was a teacher before joining farming. On venturing into growing Palm Oil in 2008, he completely left his career as a teacher to become a farmer.
Disan Bisula the Data and IT officer at Kalangala Oil Pal Palm rowers Trust -KOPGT says Kankaka has been on the disciplinary committee where he has taught many farmers on how to gain from their plantations.
He has been among the pioneer outgrowers and has helped to inspire many farmers in Kagulube and Beta Bloc in Mugoye Sub County, Disan Bisula adds.
His (yet) unexplained death has left farmers puzzled, since KOPGT has just discovered 6 Covid-19 patients within a week.
Kankaka ia also remembered for spearheading a move to increase the price of 1kg of Fresh Fruit Bunch (FFB) from Ugx 624 in November to Ugx 700 in December 2020.