Buyanga rice farmers appeal for help

Members of Buyanga sub county rice farmers cooperative in Busia district have appealed to government to make operational a rice huller donated to them by President Yoweri Museveni.

The rice mill has been lying iddle since it was handed over to the farmers in 2014 by Barbara Nekesa Oundo, the then state minister for Karamoja affairs, on behalf of Museveni.

The mill which cost shillings 65 million then has a capacity of milling 2.3 tons per hour and it can also generate and supply power to the neighbouring trading centre.

The farmers asked Museveni who was in the area to monitor programmes for the mill saying they were tired of selling raw materials without value addition.

However four year down the road the mill has not benefited the farmers who wanted to process and package the rice before selling noting that they were being cheated.

Moses Wafula a farmer in the area said, all their hopes of expecting to ripe high from their  sweat by adding to their produce before selling it have been frustrated.

“The president acted within the shortest time possible and delivered his pledge but our own leaders have failed us,” he said, adding that middle men have continued cheating.

Another resident Christine Tasks estimated that Buyanga sub county has over 7000 acres of rice gardens which she is grown on the shores of river Kibimbi

However, Erima Mulimi the sub county chairperson Bulumbi said, the machine crashed as it was being installed two years ago.

He said, due to little local revenue collected by the sub county, they have  failed raise enough money so as to contract a competent firm to repair the mill.

He said the sub county has constructed a shade for the mill and he also added his voice to farmers saying the central government should intervene.

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