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Lango Locals Ridicule Presidential Model Farm Strategy

The 4-acre Barlegi farm has an acre dedicated to coffee, another for fruits, the third acre for family food growing and the fourth acre dedicated to grass farming for zero grazing dairy cows. On the same farm, the president has a borehole which is being used for irrigation during dry weather conditions.
President Museveni planting pineapple at his garden

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Leaders in Lango sub-region have scoffed at President Yoweri Museveni's model farm strategy saying the initiative is unaffordable for peasant farmers.

This follows the launch of the Barlegi Presidential Demonstration Farm, the 3rd of its kind after Kawumu Demonstration Farm in Luweero District, and another in Kityerera-Maguye District.

The 4-acre Barlegi farm has an acre dedicated to coffee, another for fruits, the third acre for family food growing and the fourth acre dedicated to grass farming for zero grazing dairy cows. On the same farm, the president has a borehole which is being used for irrigation during dry weather conditions.

But locals and leaders in Lango Sub Region say the model farm is worthless since many of them cannot replicate the president's strategy due to financial constraints.

Otuke district woman MP (NRM) Sylvia Akello described it as an expensive venture for local people. Akello argued that President Museveni should instead focus on supporting an individual household with oxen for farming or distribute tractors per Sub County in order to successfully mechanize agriculture.

"We asked for tractors but he refused meaning he wants our peasants to continue using hand hoes to farm. Local people should have been consulted on what should be done to solve their problems. No wonder most of his initiatives have failed," MP Akello said in an interview.

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Lira district Railways Division councillor Richard Omara Awio, described the President's new strategy as critical in the fight against poverty but maintained it requires huge resources. Omara instead asked President Museveni to ensure that government provides local people with a pair of oxen and ox-ploughs which will are both affordable and manageable.

"It is a good strategy because statistics indicate that agriculture employs more than the formal sector, but the challenge is a resource. Not all the families can afford tractors. I call upon the government to give us oxen and ox-ploughs if at all we are to engage in commercial agriculture, ÔÇťOmara said.

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Joseph Okello, 57, a resident of Barlegi village, Okwang Sub County whose homestead is just 2km from Museveni's state lodge wants the president to provide them with a tractor in a bid to boost their struggle for large-scale farming. Okello says the idea is good but they can't afford as of now until they are supported by the government.

Emmanuel Ogwal, an agricultural extension worker at Ogor Sub County in Otuke district says commercial farming is the quickest way-forward to eradicate poverty but noted that it's still unaffordable for many peasants in the area.

However, during his address last week, President Yoweri Museveni objected to the demand for tractors saying that the mentality is holding Ugandans captive

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