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Agro-Input Dealers Petition Parliament Over UGX 21Bn Arrears

The 110 dealers working under the Agriculture Cluster Development Project – ACDP were contracted to supply inputs that include maize, beans, cassava, rice and coffee to over 10 districts across the country.
Agro-Input dealers accredited by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Animal Industries - MAAIF has petitioned Parliament seeking payment of 21 billion shillings for agro-inputs supplied to farmers. 

The 110 dealers working under the Agriculture Cluster Development Project – ACDP were contracted to supply inputs that include maize, beans, cassava, rice, and coffee to over 10 districts across the country.

On Thursday, Maruzi County MP Maxwell Akora presented a petition during plenary indicating that they are stuck with stock worth 16.9 billion shillings imported specifically for the project.

“ln order to facilitate the implementation of the project, the accredited dealers were to supply the specified agro-input products through the e-voucher scheme (digitized) that is managed by an e-voucher management agency,” Akora said.

However, Akora explained to the House that the project is facing challenges resulting from the shutdown of the e-voucher system since December 2021. 

“During the implementation of the e-voucher system, there have been glitches and the system would often go off and the project management would direct the dealers to supply the inputs manually to the beneficiary farmers, but to date, they have not been paid,” said Akora.

As a result, the dealers have been affected given that the funds to support the project were predominantly acquired through bank loans on the understanding that the Minister of Agriculture would be making instant payments for every transaction.

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among directed MAAIF to present a report on the status of the payment of the dealers within two weeks. Earlier on Wednesday, Among also directed Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture to investigate complaints by farmers.

Members of Parliament had demanded an appraisal of the Agriculture Cluster Development Project following outcries of non-payment and under absorption of funds under the project.

The Project is a six-year project implemented by MAAIF with the support from the International Development Agency - IDA of the World Bank being implemented across over 24 districts of Uganda targeting more than 378 farmer groups to raise on-farm productivity, production, and marketable volumes of selected agricultural commodities.