Zombo: Farmers urged to use govt tractors for increased agricultural output

Hon Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny, State Minister for Northern Uganda commissioning the 31 tractors receieved by farmers in Zombo

Zombo, (UG):- Farmers in Zombo District under their umbrella body; Zombo District Farmers Association (ZODFA) and the 15 lower local government administrative units have been allocated one four-wheel drive and two walking tractors per sub-counties and town councils respectively.

The 31 tractors that were commissioned on Monday, March 18, at Paidha Town Council were procured by the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries under the project improving and use of agricultural machines for Agricultural mechanisation were in this phase only supplied to West Nile districts and the Acholi subregion

Hon Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny, the state minister for Northern Uganda presided over the commissioning in the presence of the area MPs Hon Gabriel Okumu (Okoro Constituency), Hon Songa Lawrence Biyika (Ora County) and local council three chairpersons of the 15 town councils and sub-counties of the district.

The Minister speaking at the commissioning event re-echoed government policy on agro-industrialization through mechanization and rallied the women and youth to make the best use of the machines.

“We would like to encourage the youth and women because they can easily operate the walking tractors and the four-wheel drive tractor we have for Zombo district farmers association,” Hon Kwiocwiny iterated during an exclusive interview with this publication

Ora County MP, Hon Lawrence Songa Biyika standing on the tractor

DailyExpress further learnt the allocated machines were overdue for commissioning as they were delivered over four months ago at Paidha TC.

And most interestingly, the machinery was commissioned without any trace of knowledge of the beneficiary groups, operations techniques and missing parts of the four-wheel drive tractor which the district leaders implored the commissioning authorities to follow up in the shortest time possible.

Area political leaders expressed optimism about the machines aiding the increase in land acreage and agricultural production of the district as extensive and intensive agriculture will become empirical and advocacy for specification of crop production per the town councils and sub-counties depending on the suitability of the soil and other factors of production at play in a particular lower local government unit.

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Speaking to DailyExpress after the commissioning of the tractors on Monday, Hon Songa Lawrence (Oraa constituency) iterated the vision of commercialization of agriculture through mechanization saying “Uganda to double agricultural production we must promote commercial agriculture intensive and extensive farming and there is no way that with our hand hoes we can do extensive agriculture.”

Hon Songa Lawrence Biyika, Mp Oraa constituency speaking to DailyExpress in a Monday interview

Hon Gabriel Okumu (Okoro Constituency) who is a member of the Parliament’s Agriculture Committee promised to swiftly make follow-ups and arrangements to have the operators trained so that the machines are utilized during this period of opening land.

“I will consult with my colleagues in the parliamentary committee of agriculture and swiftly arrange for training of the machine operators we regret that the machines were commissioned without having the operators trained,” Hon Okumu said.

Hon Gabriel Okumu, Mp Okoro constituency

Beneficiary groups and institutions were strongly warned about the exaggerated cost of hire and mismanagement of the machines donated by the government with emphasis on using the machines to increase land acreage, agricultural production and generating revenue for the farmer’s groups and institutions.

Meanwhile, the district leaders have been implored to forge performance audits of previous beneficiary institutions after speculations of sales of the machines to the neighbouring Nwoya District.

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The walking tractors are said to have a very friendly fuel consumption of 3 litres per three acres of land and have been tested on several soil textures and ecological zones across Uganda.

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