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Speculators Overrun Agricultural Cluster Development Project in Kalungu

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Moses Ssenkumba, a coffee farmer from Kyamulibwa Sub County said at the inception of the project, they were asked to register through an electronic voucher management system to create accounts where each of them deposited Shillings 148,500 s as co-founding.
Some of the Farmers who benefited from Fertilizers distributed under Agricultural Cluster Development Program-ACDP which is however being abused in Kalungu district

Audio 4

The Agricultural Cluster Development Program-ACDP may fail to meet its intended objectives in Kalungu district due to an invasion by speculators fleecing farmers.

In November 2018, government through the Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Ministry initiated the five-year project with the aim of improving on-farm productivity, production, and volumes of selected agricultural commodities in specific geographical clusters of the country. The government obtained a loan of USD 249-million from the World Bank to support the farmers through the provision of agricultural inputs, fertilizers and pesticides under a cost-sharing arrangement. 

However, its implementation process in Kalungu district is being bogged down by unscrupulous speculators fleecing farmers who intend to benefit from the project. In their quarterly meetings at Kyamulibwa town council on Tuesday, farmers complained of being conned of their hard-earned cash by fraudsters posing as project coordinators in the area. 

Moses Ssenkumba, a coffee farmer from Kyamulibwa Sub County, said at the inception of the project, they were asked to register through an electronic voucher management system to create accounts where each of them deposited Shillings 148,500 as co-founding. He, however, says to their disappointment the money was withdrawn but they didn’t receive any inputs. He says they have repeatedly sought an explanation from their sub-county Agricultural Officers on the money in vain.

Godfrey Ssagala, the Kyamulibwa Town Council LC III Chairperson, says he has received complaints from several farmers indicating that they didn’t receive the inputs despite paying the money as early as last year in vain. He says the project was hijacked by unscrupulous people with connections to local politicians such as David Kawunde, the political assistant to Agriculture Minister, Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja.   

//Cue in; “Nze nsaba…..  

Cue out…..wano e Kyamulibwa.”//

The Kyamulibwa Sub County LC V Councilor, Ruth Kumugisha tasked Paul Kiyemba, the Kalungu District Agricultural Officer to explain to the farmers the whereabouts of the inputs. She explained that they received the project as a grand opportunity that would improve agriculture in the area and mobilized farmers to register. She explained that they can’t allow their efforts to be wasted by speculators.  

//Cue in; “Omubbi wammwe….      

Cue out….yakutubba,”//   

On his part, the Kalungu District Agricultural Officer blamed Sub-county agricultural officers for accepting to be manipulated by people he described as fraudsters. He promised to reach out to higher authorities to help them follow up the matter. 

//Cue in; “Jjunju oyogedde….     

Cue out…ministry ya Agriculture.”//

Aisha Ssenkidi, the Kalungu Woman Member of Parliament has asked the affected farmers to rise up strongly against such fraudulent acts and where possible apprehend the perpetrators and hand them over to Police.

//Cue in; “Abaali e Kalungu wano….  

 

Cue out…tegajja kudda.”//