Click to view original article in the New Vision.
By Andrew Masinde
Farmers in Mityana and Mubende under their umbrella group Mityana-Mubende District Farmers Association (MMUDFA) have tasked NAADS coordinators to account for all the programs including the sh900million quarterly money they get to run the services in the two districts.
This was during a meeting that was organised by Agency for Transformation (AFT), a USAID/GAP funded project on the March 24th in Mityana district.
The purpose of the meeting was to strengthen the oversight role of farmers and private sector to deepen transparency and accountability.
Henry Kasozi, the pumpkin farmer showing Morison Rwakakamba the spoilt pumpkins at his home.By Andrew Masinde
What farmer say
The farmers claim that it is only hand full of people who have benefited from the NAADS programs in the areas yet the programme was for all.
When the NAADS programme came in Mityana district, I was the only farmer planting pumpkins; I was selected to be a model farmer, people could come for advise and training on how to grow pumpkins.
This motivated me to grow them at a large scale because government had promised to get for me market through the NAADS programme.
I was also promised a machine that would process pumpkin wine but the promise was in vein,” Henry Kasozi a pumpkin farmer said.
He further explains that he has excess pumpkins in the garden and so many at home rotting away and the frequent trips to NAADS offices in search for help have been in vain.
Kasozi was among the many farmers of Mityana and Mubende under their umbrella group Mityana-Mubende District Farmers Association (MMUDFA) who asked NAADS coordinators to account for all the programs including the sh900m quarterly money they get to run the services in the two districts.
Isha Kalyango, also a farmer from Mubende said NAADS would have been beneficial if there was transparency, but some coordinators chose who to give the supplies leaving out others they do not like, this problem is mainly because of political difference.
“It is not fair, everyone is supposed to benefit irrespective of their political parties, but when you go to the sub-counties, some people are left out on these programs because they belong to a certain party.
Another farmer Jenifer Kiyanzi said NAADS has done something but for a few individuals, she said this could be partly because of the less man power at the sub-county levels.
“Each sub-county gets only one Motorcycle that is shared by three people, the NAADS coordinator, the veterinary doctor and crop officer which also affects the delivery of services,”Kiyanzi said.
Bazigatirawo Kibukuka the District chairman Mubende said the programme would be successful, but there’re many hindrances.
“This programme cannot be successful when the roads are poor; there is no electricity, no ready markets and many other issues. I call upon the Government to increase on the funding at the districts so that we can extend infrastructural services to the people which will help boost farming,” Kinukuka said.
Morison Rwakakamba, the chief executive officer AFT said that it is important when farmers are given a chance to air out their views, which helps the people responsible to reform, but in most cases they are not given a chance.
The meeting was attended by NAADS coordinators, district officials, farmers from the two districts and the Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNFFE) executives who work closely with AFT.