The Committee on Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries is set to investigate claims of none payment of farmers under the Agriculture Cluster Development Project.
The move follows a directive by the Deputy Speaker, Anita Among the following concerns raised by Erute South MP, Jonathan Odur who said that farmers in Lira were demanding money from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries.
Odur who raised a matter of national importance was concerned over the delay by the Ministry to pay a number of farmers from Lira, Aleptong, Dokolo and part of Kaberamaido who supplied cassava cuttings last year.
The MP described the deplorable state of living of most of the farmers and their families due to the delayed payment by the Ministry. He said that many of the farmers can hardly afford basic needs, pay school fees for their children and seek medical attention.
He accused the Ministry of deliberately refusing to pay the farmers yet they have the money. He said that he had information that the project was funded by World Bank and the money had been disbursed.
The Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP) is a partnership project of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and the World Bank, financed by the International Development Assistance (IDA) of the World Bank. The Project was declared effective on January 23, 2017.
The project objective is to raise on-farm production, productivity, and marketable volumes of Beans, Cassava, Coffee, Maize and Rice in 12 geographical clusters across 57 districts.
The project is composed of four components namely: Support for Intensification of On-Farm Production, Value Addition and Market Access, Policy, Regulatory and Institutional Support and Coordination and Management, and ICT Platform.
Bugabula County South MP, Maurice Kibalya cited the lack of goodwill by the Ministry especially the permanent secretary (PS) to pay the farmers. He report that the PS who is the former commandant of Kyankwanzi that would not make any payment until investigations are complete.
Among who was chaired by Plenary sitting on 2nd March 2022, underscored the need and the importance for Government and other stakeholders to pay farmers.
She asked the Committee on Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to look into the matter and report back to Parliament.