Unlike in Kalangala district, where several farmers devoted all their land to oil palm growing, NOPP is ensuring that each out grower at Buvuma spares or secures an acre of land for growing food. Wilson Sserunjogi, the District Oil Palm Focal Person says such land will help farmers during the time when they cannot practice intercropping.
Over 200 registered out growers verified to participate
in the first phase of setting up oil palm plantations in Buvuma district are
guided to spare land for subsistence farming as they prepare for the long term
harvest of oil palm.
Buvuma residents embraced the introduction of oil
palm growing. However there has been a concern among leaders on how the district
can maintain its food security in its transit from the substance farming to a perennial
The district’s major economic activities include
fishing however statistics at the district indicate that about 40 percent of
fishermen have abandoned the lake in the last two years complaining of scarcity
of fish and the army operations against illegal fishing methods that have been indiscriminate and in many cases reckless.
Besides fishing, Buvuma residents also practice
farming however a lot of their prime land was bought off by the National Oil
Palm Project-NOPP to establish a nucleus estate for the investor, Buvuma Oil
Palm Uganda Limited-BOPUL a subsidiary of Oil Palm Uganda Limited and Bidco
Uganda Limited in Kalangala.
Juliet Mbabazi a resident at Walwanda in Buvuma town
council says she sold off part of her land to NOPP at 18million shillings from
which she secured another acre of land in Buikwe district where she has setup a
She remained with two acres at Buvuma for oil palm
growing. Mbabazi has hope that the project will change their standard of living
“It has been expensive for us to transport crops such
as cassava, sweet plantains [bogoya] and sometimes charcoal and save enough to
cater for our family needs but so far we have hope that our life style will change for the better.”
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Another farmer and also the chairperson of Buvuma Oil
Palm Out-growers Association Salimu Mayiso says since the introduction of oil
palm at Buvuma, several residents have already started experiencing transformation in their lives.
He cites over 100 youths employed in Buvuma Oil Palm
Uganda Limited-BOPUL nursery bed and others who properly managed the money received
as compensation from land offered to the investor to establish a nucleus
Development is now evident from the roads constructed
and we hope for more to come, we are now dreaming of a situation to afford
better education for our children among other things.”
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Sarasino Namuyimba Ssekajjolo the district speaker
reveals that the district council tasked NOPP to ensure that there is food
production in the district before undertaking further programs.
Unlike in Kalangala district, where several farmers
devoted all their land to oil palm growing, NOPP is ensuring that each out
grower at Buvuma spares or secures an acre of land for growing food. Wilson
Sserunjogi, the District Oil Palm Focal Person says such land will help farmers
during the time when they cannot practice intercropping.
After planting oil palm trees, farmers only take a
period of about two years growing food crops until oil palm trees creates a thick
greenery cover of leaves which does not allow sunlight to reach other crops underneath.
Oil palm trees takes 3-4 years to mature before the
farmer starts the harvests every after 10 days, for a period close to 30 years receiving
a monthly income.
This would mean that for` farmers without alternative land for
food crops, their baskets go empty for a period of about one to two years until
they start earning from the oil palm harvests to carter for their needs.
Out growers are required to set up oil palm gardens
starting from the size of one to five acres. NOPP through International Fund
for Agricultural Development-IFAD provides to them farm in-puts such as
fertilizers and seedlings in form of a loan which they are supposed to pay off during the
The NOPP Agronomist Charles Ssembatya says farmers
together with the investor have prepared the gardens to start planting in June.
He notes that their technical team is also finalizing allocating quantities of
farm inputs required.
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In the first phase of planting oil palm trees at
Buvuma, out growers will plant 500 hectares of their land and 1,400 hectares for the