Over 1,000 farmers in Arua district fail to access inputs under ACDP
todaySeptember 23, 2021
By Musa Sabir
Over 1,000 farmers in Arua district who were enrolled on the e-voucher system under the Agriculture Cluster Development Project ACDP failed to receive their inputs from suppliers. The five-year project was initiated in 2017, to improve on-farm productivity, production and volumes of selected agricultural commodities in specific geographical clusters of the country. The government obtained a loan of USD 249-million from the World Bank to support the farmers through the provision of agricultural inputs, fertilizers and pesticides under a cost-sharing arrangement. The project entails farmers to order for inputs via the e-voucher system. Arua district production officer, Dr. Toa Gordon says that only 200 out of 2,040 farmers managed to receive their inputs. He attributes this to inadequate technical personnel. “Our biggest challenge has been on what we call redemption; you put your money and you expected to get the inputs. So out of the over 2,000, we have less than 200 people who have been able to get this money and this is because there had been some challenges that time of reaching the people because we had only one staff from United Bank of Africa who would move from Maracha, Arua, Madi-Okollo, Nebbi so to reach all the sub counties (Arua had 19, Madi-Okollo had 9 …) so it was bit of slow process”, he said. Logiri is one of the Sub Counties in Arua district that has registered slight achievements in the project. The Sub County’s Assistant Agriculture Officer, David Atiku says that some of the farmers in the Sub County were positive from the onset of the project. “We wanted 1.2 billion but government has so far supported our farmers at the tune of 924 million shillings on average. This money has gone into farmers’ accounts for services of tractor (ploughing), land opening, post-harvest handling technologies. Some of the farmers acquired tarpaulins (6X6 m) for drying cassava, some of them went for coffee, fertilizers and others. However the huge sum of the money has been for value addition. Our farmers were just positive about the project as soon as it was announced”, he said. However, Michael Endrionzi, a farmer in Ajia Sub County calls for more sensitization of officials on the project to farmers. “There is a lot of information gap. Farmers are not even aware of some of these programs, nothing like sensitization in the whole sub county so farmers are ignorant, they don’t know anything about this program, am ever hearing it from radio but on ground, if you move to Ajia sub county, it is not booming”, he said. The 6 years Agriculture Cluster Development Project, launched in 2017 was expected to end in 2022 but an extension of 1-year has been made. Under the project, 5 crop enterprises including cassava, beans, coffee, maize and rice were selected to receive support from the government in Arua district.
COVER PHOTO: Under ACDP, farmers receive agricultural inputs, fertilizers and pesticides under a cost sharing arrangement. Courtesy photo.