NEBBI. Local leaders in Nebbi district have been urged to equip farmers with the knowledge of managing agricultural projects.

Officials said the failure of government agricultural projects has been largely attributed to lack of empowerment of farmers and poor saving culture.

Speaking during a consultative meeting in Nebbi town on Thursday, Mr Patrick Omony, the Agency for community empowerment (AFACE) project manager, a local NGO in the district said there is need to empower farmers on how best they can benefit from the inputs they get from government as well as educating them on financial management.

“Most of the money government invests in farmers ends up in bars because they have poor saving culture. Time has now come for district leaders to empower their farmers on how best they can multiply inputs they get to make more money and use it profitably,” Omony said.

Ms Jennipher Akim, the Nebbi district commercial officer said the only way farmers can save and promote agricultural production is by reviving cooperatives which will be helpful in marketing their products.

“With cooperatives, farmers can have access to market and better bargaining power for their products. They will also be able to save what they get from their agricultural products,” Akim said.

However, Mr Brian Chothembo, one of the lead farmers in Nebbi blamed the district officials for failing to guide them on how best they can benefit from agricultural projects.

“Implementation of these projects are not being done properly and that is why extension workers are not helping farmers as expected. Sometimes seedlings are brought off season, a reason nothing is changing in the communities” Chothembo stressed.

But Mr Collins Nyigaling, the Nebbi district production officer denied the allegations saying they are doing a lot of work in monitoring and giving extension services to farmers contrary to what is being insinuated.

“We are also wondering why things are not changing in the communities. May be farmers misuse the inputs given to them to the extent of eating seedlings as well as using the animals for bride price, all acts that are hard to control,” he said.