PAKWACH. West Nile district chairpersons under their umbrella body, West Nile development association (WENDA) have urged the government to procure tractors and allocate them to sub-counties in the region.
The move, according to the leaders, will promote mechanized farming and eventually, get people out of poverty.
The district leaders made the appeal during their quarterly meeting in Pakwach district on Tuesday.
Mr Genesis Acema, the district chairperson of Madi Okollo noted that the West Nile region is gifted with fertile soil which he said is being underutilized.
He asked the government to avail each sub-county with at least a tractor which farmers can use to expand on their fields for increased production.
Acema noted that the West Nile region has been hospitable for hosting huge number of refugees in the country who also need food to eat.
However, Ms Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny, the state minister for Northern Uganda said most farmers in the region have failed to meet the required 20 per cent revenue to the cost of tractors.
"We have weak cooperatives and the decision to have tractors in each sub-county is not a policy of the government, let us instead organize our houses and demand later," she said.
Kwiyucwiny said farmers should be advised to embrace commercial agriculture through the use of irrigation and grow high valued crops.
Mr Songa Biyika, the chairperson West Nile Parliamentary caucus said investing in agriculture as a region is critical for industrialization and creation of employment opportunities for youths.
"Encourage farmers to produce enough since the market is readily available. We have made resolutions that we shall soon present to you as regional Parliamentarians," he said.
Dr Anthony Mugeere, a researcher with an Advocacy Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) expressed readiness to strengthen the capacity of farmers on climatic resilience issues in order to meet the goals of the association.
In his closing remarks, Gen. Moses Ali, the first deputy Prime Minister encouraged the district leaders to appreciate the government's decision to decentralize service delivery and cautioned the members against border bickering at the expense of service delivery.
He appealed to the leaders to allocate land for industrial parks to enable farmers to grow crops on large scale for industrialization.
“The issue of power blackout will soon be history in West Nile with the completion of Karuma dam. Let us encourage the young people and men to join the women in farming," he said.