Community Seed Bank in Nakasongola district is lying idle for two years after it was launched. The National Agriculture Research Organization and
partners constructed the community seed bank at Nakasongola district headquarters in 2019.
The seed bank received
seed donations as well as support from Biodiversity International and World
Agroforestry Center. General
Salim Saleh, the national coordinator of the Operation Wealth Creation program launched
the seed bank with the aim of conserving and increasing access to quality and diverse indigenous seeds.
Some of the crop species conserved at the seed
bank included Common beans, groundnuts, cassava, millet, maize, and various
leafy vegetables. However, two years later, Rogers Kulaba, the Nakasongola District Male Youths
Councillor says bushes have taken over the seed bank. Kulaba says that many farmers are still buying fake seeds from markets yet the bank would have helped them to access quality seeds.
Sarah Nakamya, the Nakasongola District Production officer, says that after the launch of the seed bank, NARO and the district mobilized 135 farmers to form an
association to manage it. She notes that the Chairperson of the farmers George William
Sempungu died shortly after, which plunged
the association into a leadership crisis hence affecting the operation of the
Nakamya notes that they are currently engaged in reorganizing the
farmers and leadership so that the seed bank resumes normal operations. Sunday Richard Galimaka the Assistant
Coordinator of Kewerimidde Nakasongola Community Seed Bank, says that apart from the leadership vacuum, COVID-19 restrictions also affected meetings and
mobilization of farmers.
Galimaka notes that they have
elected new leadership and will re-open the seed bank at the end of this season after collecting seeds
from farmers. Samuel Kigula, the LC 5 Chairman of Nakasongola district, says while launching the seed bank, General Salim Saleh also expressed scepticism
that it will work. Kigula noted that the district needs to support
the seed bank if it’s to survive and benefit farmers.
//Cue in: “We had a problem….
Cue out;…our people”//
//Cue in: “General Saleh…
Cue out;…Omulimo gwayo”//
Another multibillion ice plant designed to promote
the fishing industry is also
lying idle in Nakasongola district. In 2010, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries industry
with support from the African Development Bank constructed an ice plant worth Shillings 2.3 billion at district headquarters.
supposed to produce and supply ice blocks to fishermen at a subsidized cost. The ice blocks are used to preserve fish during
transportation to prevent it from rotting. However, 10 years later, the facility is no longer in use after working
for only a year.
Authorities say it also
lacks water reservoirs and other vital installations.