Michael Okello, the Grants Officer in Ministry of Agriculture, says the grant is meant to support organised cooperatives to get the required capacities through, which they can effectively respond to emerging challenges in the agricultural sector that affect their earnings.
The Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Ministry has committed up to Shillings
3.7 billion to support Agro-processing and storage of produce in Masaka
district. The money has been disbursed as a matching grant to sixteen farmers’
Cooperatives in Masaka.
Some of the
beneficiaries are West Buganda Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union, Kaka Farmers
Association, Masaka District Farmers Association, Bugabira Farmers Group and
Masaka Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative among others.
The money is expected to
support the farmers’ Cooperatives to acquire standard storage and processing
facilities to add value to their produce for increased turnover.
The funding is under the
Agriculture Cluster Development Project-ACDP, which is jointly funded by
government and World Bank with the aim of raising on-farm productivity,
production, and marketable volumes of selected agricultural commodities in the
different zones of the country.
Michael Okello, the
Grants Officer in Ministry of Agriculture, says the grant is meant to support
organised cooperatives to get the required capacities through, which they can
effectively respond to emerging challenges in the agricultural sector that
affect their earnings.
Okello explains that
government found it viable to focus its energies and resources on promoting the
value addition aspect in the agricultural subsector so as to make it a more
profitable venture to local farmers.
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Tumusiime, the Head of Finance and Administration Agriculture Cluster
Development Project explains that with proper post-harvest handling and
processing facilities farmers will be protected from making losses they often
suffer in hurried sale of unprocessed produce.
Tumusiime advised the
beneficiary groups that are outside the power grid to consider dedicating part
of their grant to extend electricity to their areas to facilitate agricultural
production and value addition.
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Badiru Kagga, the West
Buganda Buganda Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union Board Secretary, says the
grant will support them realize their dream of procuring a modern coffee hurler,
which they have been craving for to boost their processing capacity.