By Yosam Gucwaki
The tractors were delivered after President Yoweri Museveni ordered for the establishment of a service centre in Masindi district to help overcome challenges facing Masindi sugarcane farmers.
The establishment of the Bunyoro region service centre was announced in August this year by Major General John Mateeka from Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) during a meeting with Masindi sugarcane farmers which was held at Kinyara Sugar Social club where he represented the OWC chief coordinator General Salim Saleh.
Major General Mateeka revealed that the centre that would be based at Kihonda agricultural demonstration farm in Pakanyi sub county Masindi district would help sugar cane farmers minimize the costs they incur .
The launch of the services was presided over by the Minister of Agriculture Vincent Ssempija in August this year and six tractors, plough, and harrow disks were delivered by MAAIF but since then the tractors are parked at Masindi district headquarters. Ssempija said more forty tractors would be delivered very soon.
The beneficiaries of the tractors include; Kanaginagi Ateenyi, Gukwatamanzi cooperative in Pakanyi Sub County and three tractors are supposed to be allocated to Masindi Sugar cane Growers Association Limited (MASGAL) but since then the beneficiaries are not sure when they will receive them.
Speaking during the district council meeting yesterday, Joseph Ogaino Wamani the district male youth councilor who also doubles as the chairperson production committee reported that an injector pump valued at over 3 million had been stolen and no one knows its whereabouts.
He wondered whether the district authorities are waiting for more spares to be stolen then give them out to the beneficiaries. He called upon the concerned to expedite the process of giving out the tractors such that they can utilize them in the coming season.
Responding to the matter, Cosmas Byaruhanga, the district LCV chairperson noted that police are investigating the loss of an injector pump adding that the day it was stolen all the police officers who provide security at the district had been withdrawn and taken to Hoima for the just concluded bye-elections.
He assured the councilors that the tractors are going to be given maximum security arguing that no more tractors will lose any spare.
Commenting on the non-usage of the tractors, Byaruhanga explained that they are in the final stages of having the tractors given out to the beneficiaries saying that they are waiting to get a communication from the NAADS secretariat regarding the memorandum of understanding (Mou).
He also said that they would not give out the tractors without the trained operators revealing that the operators concluded their training on Friday last week and received them today in his office.
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