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Agago commercial farmers excited over oil factory plans

AGAGO– Commercial oil seed farmers in Agago district are excited over plans to build an oil seed extraction plant in the district.

This comes after Leonard Ojok, the Agago district L.C V Chairperson revealed that the district was partnering with the Uganda Oil Seeds Producers and Processors Association to build the factory expected to boost farmers’ incomes.

“Uganda Oil Seeds Processors association wants to support the community to have an oil processing factory. They are going to assess the existing cooperatives and find out which one has the best infrastructure to manage it,” Ojok said.

He said that low prices, one of the biggest challenges faced by oilseed farmers in the district would be addressed when the factory is built in the district.

“During planting season, farmers buy seeds expensively. For example, improved sunflower seeds cost Shs 60,000 per kilogram but after harvest, the price can reduce to as low as Shs 800 per kilogram. Having a factory here will create a situation where farmers sell their crop at reasonable prices by having contracts with buyers in advance,” he explained.

Agago district produced over 300 tons of sunflower, 1000 tons of Soybeans and 800 tons of Simsim, according to Ojok.

Charles Odyek, the chairperson Agago United Commercial Farmers Association is happy with the development saying it has come at the right time as more farmers are embracing production on large scale.

Agago United Commercial Farmers Association was established in 2021 and currently has over 170 members.

The Association is an arm of Lukole Grains Farmers Area Cooperative Enterprises Limited, which has over 1,700 members.

Odyek told theCooperator that the large-scale producers’ group was formed after experiencing challenges with small-scale farmers.

“We would make plans to grow a particular crop and some farmers would divert and grow a different crop which in the end would affect our supply to bulk buyers,” Odyek explained.

He expects members to produce at least 200 metric tons of Soybeans this season alone if no natural disaster like floods strikes.

Transforming the agriculture sector from subsistence to a competitive, profitable and sustainable sector through value addition is one of the objectives of Uganda Vision 2040, according to the National Development Plan.

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