By Adiga Julius.
Omoro District passes by-laws to force farmers into commercial agriculture
In order to empower its citizens economically and ensuring food
security in Northern Uganda, Omoro District Local Government has
resolved that each household will have a mandatory two acres of
cassava, two acres of potatoes, and two acres of beans.
This was revealed by Omoro District Chairperson, Okello Peter Douglas
during a district leader`s meeting and farmers, summoned by the
minister of agriculture, animal industry and fisheries, Vincent
Bamulangaki Ssempijja at Omoro District headquarters today to collect
ideas on the ministry`s efforts to introduce coffee growing in
Okello said the district has got 437 farmers who have shown interest
and more than ready to start coffee growing, he added that from the
few trials which were made in the district, the crop proved good
results. He also reported to the minister about the new interventions
by the district as far as agriculture is concerned, among which, a
by-law was recently passed to force people into subsistence and
commercial agriculture to ensure food security in the district, he
added that the district resolved to use both soft and also apply hard
methods to those who will keep a deaf ear to the new policy; Okello
said his council did not pass the by-law in bad faith, but as a tool
to fight hunger out of the district and the entire Northern Uganda.
“It will be very disastrous to hear that there is famine in Omoro
despite the fertile land, despite the available land; our farmers also
need to promote the idea of block farming so that we transit from
subsistence to commercial farming in Omoro District, poverty is in the
mind, and for us to fight this poverty, we need to change the mindset
and work towards economic empowerment of our people.” He added.
Walter Okol, the marketing manager of Equator seeds Limited, a company
that mobilizes farmers in Omoro and other Districts of Northern Uganda
welcomed the idea of forceful sendoff of people into commercial
agriculture, he said Equator seeds, has already joined the district to
sensitize the farmers about the new arrangement.
“For us we welcome the idea and we promise to collaborate with the
chairman to ensure that his dream is realized, this is something which
can be achieved as long as all stakeholders are brought on board.”
Okot Eric, a sales officer from Equator seeds, also a farmer said
chairman’s idea to have each household gets two acres of food and
other two for commercial purposes is a good one, because it will help
the district to have constant supply of food to other areas which are
prone to disasters.
In his speech to the congregation, Ssempijja congratulated the
district leadership for coming up with a by-law on food security, he
said one of the main objectives on the ministry`s agenda is to ensure
food security in every homestead, the minister added that hunger
shouldn’t have been a problem in areas like Northern Uganda because of
its fertile soils.
“My ministry is ready to give you all the support you need, we need to
have productive families, and you cannot be productive when you are
hungry, so, I want to congratulate my brother Okello Douglas and his
council for passing this by-law.” he said.
Ssempijja further thanked the leadership of the district for
sensitizing farmers on coffee growing in the area, he said he is
implementing a presidential directive to expand coffee growing in
Northern Uganda, and added that during his two days tour of Omoro
district, he was impressed to see that the crop can do well and
promised frequent visit of the area to monitor the progress.