District authorities are concerned about the poor state of roads connecting to out
grower’s gardens ahead of the planting of palm oil seedlings.
The National Oil
Palm Project-NOPP is finalizing preparations to receive about 36, 000 seedlings
from Benin this month for planting in nursery beds in Buvuma district
before they are distributed to farmers for planting.
At the start of the Palm oil project, the National Oil Palm Project promised to establish a good road network to
ease transportation of seedlings from the nursery bed to the main garden. The
same roads are expected to ease the transportation of oil palm fruit bunches to
the mill during harvest.
However, Buvuma District authorities
are worried that the roads haven’t been worked on as planned yet the start of
the project is just a few days away.
Buvuma District Chairperson Alex
Mabiriizi says farmers risk making
losses once the seedlings are not delivered on time because of bad roads.
NOPP is providing the seedlings
to the farmers in form of a loan on top of giving them money for clearing their
gardens and fertilizers. The money will be recovered during the harvest
are most likely to take long to settle off their loans and make use of the
money from the project to develop themselves. Everything about oil palm in
Buvuma has been very slow making it hard to convince us that NOPP can open the
roads on time,” Mabiriizi said.
James Nambula, one of the prospective out
growers in Buvuma Sub County, says he is scared of getting involved in project
that is likely to fail midway.
He cites farmers he visited in Kalangala
district, whose roads to the gardens are still pending construction.
says many farmers will need serious manpower beyond trucks to transport
seedlings to their gardens given the fact that most of the routes are
//Cue in; “ As the out-growers…
Cue out …to our gardens”//
Luganda //Cue in; “Tulabye nti…
Cue out…abalimi baffe”//
The Buvuma District Oil Palm Focal Person,
Wilson Sserunjogi appeals to the leaders and farmers to remain calm, saying the
project hasn’t backtracked on opening roads.
He says they are in the process of
hiring trucks and manpower to ensure that farmers are not burdened with
transporting seedlings at the initial stage.
//Cue in; “The project is…
Cue out…people will benefit”//
The project targets 10,000 hectares, of which
6500 will be used by Oil Palm Uganda Ltd-OPUL, a subsidiary of Bidco Uganda
limited and the remaining 3500 hectares will be utilised by out growers.
Sserunjogi indicates that about 8, 000 out growers have been registered.