ZOMBO. Zombo District Farmers Association (ZODFA) board members have been sworn in for a five-year term in office.

At least 9 board members and their chairperson, Mr Mario Munguacel have been sworn in office during a colourful function held at ZODFA head office in Paidha town on Monday.

While presiding over the function, the Zombo deputy chief administrative officer Mr David Muhwezi asked the new office bearers to have ZODFA at heart during their reign in office.

He implored the team to focus on what is beneficial to the association so that it increases membership and economic benefits to the farmers.

Muhwezi warned the new office bearers against disrespect of the oath and urged them to always remember the vow they have taken in their daily work.

"This association has been having challenges in the past and I now urge you to respect the oath you have taken and avoid anything that may undermine the development of the association," he said.

Meanwhile, in his speech, Mr Munguacel pledged to work in collaboration with the district to champion the interests of ZODFA.

He bashed some members of the association who claim there is a lacuna in ZODFA's constitution, arguing that the constitution has nothing wrong given that there is a working policy document that guides the administration of the association.

"I just pity some of us who claim our constitution needs amendment. I need to tell you that we are on the right path because our constitution is an authentic one including the policy document," he stressed.

Munguacel instead called for cooperation among the staff in a bid to avoid instances that may kill the aspirations of the association.

He said they intend to increase membership and lobby for support from development partners during their term in office.

Mr Jaried Opyem, the youth representative on the board commended ZODFA for including them on the board and said this will bring the youth closer to ZODFA and also encourage them to practice agriculture unlike before.

"I’m sure this will give the youth the chance to have their voices heard by ZODFA and most importantly, give them the reason to engage in agriculture", Opyem said.

He observed that through ZODFA, the youth will be able to get skills training in agriculture and also get access to profitable markets.

Mr John Birombo Orwiny, the Zombo district chairman who also doubles as the ZODFA Patron asked the new board members to avoid past mistakes that made the association lose track.

He warned the executive against intrigue and personalization of the association which he said had in the past, caused internal conflicts among members.

Orwiny called for respect for one another and pledged district support to ZODFA so that it succeeds in achieving its goals among other things so as to empower the farmers through capacity building and market linkage.

Started in 2010 with 200 members, ZODFA now boasts of over 8000 members spread all over Zombo district.