Farmers in the Acholi sub-region have raised concern over the
sorry state of produce stores built by the government during the Lord’s
Resistance Army – LRA rebels post conflict.
Several stores across the eight districts in the region are non-functional
or their roofs were blown out by violent storms.
For instance, at Awor Trading Centre in Lakwana Sub-County, Omoro
District - a mini cotton ginnery and ginning store built-in 2007 has been out
of use because of inconsistent power supply.
Dominic Ameny, a farmer who doubles as the Local Council I
Chairperson of the area with over 500 farmers says the store has not been
beneficial to the farmers and urges the government to revamp it to save them
from wastage and promote productivity.
//Cue in:..."Tye cuma.”
Cue out….adit acel eno”//
Patrick Nyeko Lumumba, the Chairperson of Waribu Pit Farmers’ Group in Amuru
Town Council with a membership of 112 farmers says that the lack of a store in
the area has for years led to wastage of tonnes of rice, beans and groundnuts
produced by the members.
//Cue in..."Store ma wan.”
Cue out… ki kweri dayang.”//
In neighbouring Lamogi Sub-County, Amuru District, the farmers
have lost the only community store built by the government in partnership with
non-organization to storms. The roof has been blown off since 2016 and has
never been replaced.
Adkin Ojara, the LCIII Sub-County Chairperson says some landowners
have gagged the community from accessing the stores because such facilities
were built on their land without compensation.
A recent meeting of Resident District Commissioners, Community
Development Officers and Commercial officers in Gulu discovered that up to 18
government stores in the Acholi sub-region are not functioning, dilapidated
thus requiring urgent refurbishment to save farmers from the burden of crop
Currently, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and
Fisheries through the Agriculture Cluster Development Programme – ACDP backed
by the World has dispensed 1.5 million shillings to construct modern stores in
11 sub-counties of Amuru District.
The ACDP introduced in 2017, has been rolled out to over 20
districts that include, Omoro, Nwoya, Iganga, Ntungamo, Kalungu, Nebbi, Masaka,
Mpigi, Rakai, Bugiri and Namutumba.
Others are Gulu, Rubanda, Pakwach, Kabaale, Bushenyi, Isingiro,
Kyotera, Bugweri, Bunyangabu, Maracha, Arua, Yumbe and Rukiga.
According to the Ministry, through ACDP, registered farmers are
also enabled to access critical farm inputs and equipment for post-harvest
handling at subsidized costs met using an online system that links registered
farmers to pre-qualified, certified agro-input dealers.