The NOPP Agronomist Charles Ssembatya says the project has not managed to transport enough machinery to clear both nucleus and out grower’s fields but even without mechanical ploughing, planting can still be done in a proper way.
New oil palm out growers who are just being introduced to the sector in Buvuma district are already discouraged as the lead investor has not helped or shown them how to prepare the ground where to planting the seedlings.However the nucleus estate to be used by the investor has been meticulously prepared, unlike the out growers' fields that are still thick bush with difficult tree stumps.
Last week, National Oil palm Project-NOPP started the
practical induction of farmers on the proper transfer and handling of seedlings
from Buvuma Oil Palm Uganda Limited nursery bed located at Busamuzi sub county
to the gardens for planting.
The project intends to start planting seedlings on
June 15, since they are ready. Out of 550 hectares of the out
growers', 250 hectareswill be planted in the first phase.
However, residents are raising concerns that the
project has only focused at preparing gardens for the investor leaving them out
as earlier promised in the sensitization meetings.
Allan Matiya one of the farmers says their gardens
are full of big tree stumps, stones and big red aunt colonies yet such have
been thoroughly removed from the investor’s gardens.
“The nature of our gardens might affect the output at
the time of harvest or even cause stunted growth since they are already
congested,” Matiya complained.
//Cue in: “Ndaba ennimiro…
Cue out: …ebisinga bibira”//
Another farmer Dalausi Mutyaba says the project geologists
took soil samplings but have never returned the findings. He says many farmers
are skeptical of the likely results.
//Cue in: “Ba geologists bajja…
Cue out: …ettaka etuufu”//
The NOPP Agronomist Charles Ssembatya says the
project has not managed to transport enough machinery to clear both nucleus and
out grower’s fields but even without mechanical ploughing, planting can still
be done in a proper way.
He encourages the farmers to ensure that their no
grass that may end up creating shadow for the planted oil palm trees. Where
there have been other trees, stumps must be cut from the ground even though
roots are not uprooted, but farmers should ensure that they don’t germinate
Ssembatya says that due to the slight difference in
the nucleus estate and out grower’s management of the gardens, the out growers’
lining up procedure of trees will require a spacing of 9 by 9 metres and for
the nucleus estate a lining of 8.5 metres.
//Cue in: “Do the pegging…
Cue out: …a triangular way”//
//Cue in: “Ekyokutekateeka ennimiro…
Cue out: …nenaku eziddako”//
The Assistant General Manager of Oil Palm Buvuma, Mr Xhing Ping from Malaysia, says farmers should not be worried for they have a
team of experts to guide them but currently planting must go on since time for
planting is due. He notes that planting would have started in February but rain
patterns did not favour them.