NEBBI. The low progress of the Agriculture cluster project in Nebbi district has been attributed to poor mobilization of famers, a ministry of agriculture official has said.
The six-year project which started in 2017 has been so slow in picking up yet it is now in its fourth year with only 11, 404 farmers registered and benefitting from the project.
Mr Stephen Ojangole, the project coordinator in the ministry of agriculture, animal industry and fisheries (MAAIF) said despite leaders being facilitated to mobilise farmers, little has been done.
“Nebbi district has been given shs300 million and this includes the facilitation for the leaders to mobilise the community to be part of this project to stimulate local investment”, he said.
He said since it is a pilot project, there is need to enrol more farmers to benefit from the project so that it can be rolled to other districts.
“At the beginning, we thought farmers would just embrace the project but this has not been the case and they need to be mobilised and encouraged to be part”, Ojangole said.
Mr Yafesi Ogwal, the assistant commissioner Agribusiness in MAAIF said the project is about numbers and the success depends on the numbers of farmers benefiting from it.
“Leaders don’t fail because there is enough money and staff to implement this project and what is left is for leaders to mobilise more farmer groups to benefit”, he said.
Mr Deo Kabugo, the acting chief administrative officer Nebbi who doubles as the chairman of the cluster said because of poor mobilization, turn up of farmers for E-voucher registration has been low.
“The UBA staffs doing the e-voucher registration lack transport means hence they are not able to reach more farmers”, he added.
Mr Christopher Omara, the resident district commissioner (RDC) said there is need for mind-set change to increase production because the challenge in the district is land fragmentation which is not convenient for the project.
The agriculture cluster development project is financed by an international development association at the cost of US $150 million.
The project is aimed at increasing farm production, productivity and marketable volumes of beans, cassava, coffee, maize and rice in cluster 12 which include Nebbi, Pakwach, Arua, Yumbe and Maracha.