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Churches, Schools Omitted from First Phase of Oil Palm Planting in Buvuma

Institutions include the Anglican, Catholic churches, schools, district and sub county local governments. They targeting to grow over 20 acres’ plantations each. However, Epai notes that all these shall be considered after the out growers with small acreage of one to five are catered for.
Nursary bed for Buvuma Oil palm Uganda Limited.

Audio 4

Big institutions intending to establish palm oil plantations in Buvuma district are bound to miss out on the first phase of planting, which started at the beginning of this month. The second phase will start at the end of July. 

Buvuma District National Oil Palm Project-NOPP Coordinator Gerald Epai says they have so far registered over ten institutions interested in growing palm trees. The institutions include the Anglican and Catholic churches, schools, as well as the district and sub-county local governments, which intend to grow over 20 acres’ plantations each.

However, he says, none of these will be considered now, but advised them to wait for the second phase of planting, which will come after out-growers with small acreages of one to five are covered. The National Oil Palm Project had an initial target of planting palm trees on 10,000 hectares of land. Of these, 7,500 hectares are planned for the nucleus estate and 2,500 for outgrowers.

In the first phase, outgrowers are planting 200 hectares and nucleus estate 1,400 hectares. But much as most of the institutions say they have the capacity to facilitate the growing process by buying all recommended farm inputs such as fertilizers, they can only access seedlings from Buvuma Oil Palm Uganda Limited-BOPUL nursery bed, which, however, does not have the supply capacity at the moment.

//Cue in; “Program of the…

Cue out…over 100 acres.”//

Charles Ssembatya, the National Oil Palm Project Agronomist explains that the variety of oil palm seedlings prepared in Buvuma is fast maturing and needs expatriate monitoring which may lack in gardens completely managed by private institutions. He adds that the institutions will require experienced extension workers from Buvuma Oil Palm Uganda Limited to achieve better yields. 

//Cue in; “We calculate how…

Cue out: …and half years.”//

The Church of Uganda Buvuma Island Mission Parish Priest Eden Mukomba says that the institution has dedicated close to 40 acres of land for oil palm growing for the purposes of income generation but also to change the lives of Christians through palm oil growing.

//Cue in; “We also expect…

Cue out…help our Christians.”//

Buvuma County Member of Parliament Robert Ndugwa Migadde appeals to the Ministry of Agriculture to increase machinery on the ground to expedite the process of growing oil palm on a large scale. He notes that the delay in facilitating institutions to grow oil palm may force some to divert the land for other developments. 

//Cue in; “the five-acre…

Cue out…to relax that.”//

National Oil Palm Project through International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) provides farm inputs such as fertilizers and seedlings in form of a loan to farmers, with a commitment to pay off during the harvest periods.                                             

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