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Busoga Growers Demand UGX 12bn Compensation

Alamanzani Ibanda, the Board Chairperson, says that the board has been rendered helpless and cannot perform without funds.
The track that was procured by Busoga growers in July this year.
Busoga Growers Cooperative Union is demanding government12 billion shillings compensation for property lost during the civil war.

The properties include; 11 warehouses which were situated in each of the chiefdoms within Busoga sub-region, four Lorries, six buildings in Jinja district and livestock which was looted.

With 320 primary societies throughout the region, the cooperative collapsed in 1986 and has never been active ever since. The board blames the inefficiency of the union on delayed compensation.

Alamanzani Ibanda, the Board Chairperson, says that the board has been rendered helpless and cannot perform without funds.

“We were elected in 2010 but because of the delayed compensation from government, we cannot carry out our activities effectively,” Ibanda says.

Ibanda notes that farmers have approached him with their grain ready for sale but he cannot market their produce for better prices due to lack of funds.

“In a modern setting like this one, marketing entails of using social media, websites, radio adverts and at times hiring marketers for the job which involves funds,” Ibanda adds.

Moses Ngobi, the Union manager discloses that they received a compensation of 2 Billion Shillings in June 2018 which was used to purchase a truck and pay off debts.

“Government gave us some two billion shillings which we used to purchase a truck to transport farmers' produce from their villages to our store and payment of debts we incurred during endless court battles to repossess some of our property that had been wrongfully taken away from us,” Ngobi says.

Fredrick Gume, the Minister of State for Cooperatives says that government plans clearing the debts owed to cooperatives in installments.

“The government does not have money to compensate the 100 billion shillings owed to cooperatives all over the country but we are working out a plan of paying them in installments at least every financial year, ”Gume states.

Gume wants farmers to adopt modern crop storage systems which will improve the market value of their harvest.

 

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