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Cooperative Societies urged to tap into Oil sector opportunities

Hoima district LC V Chairperson, Kirungi Kadiri, has challenged farmers under cooperative societies to prepare themselves to take advantage of the myriad opportunities likely to be created by Uganda’s emerging oil and gas sector.

Speaking to theCooperator, Kadiri said that there is a need for cooperative societies to build the capacities of their members so that they can reap from USD 15-20bn worth of economic value projected to be generated by the development of the oil and gas sector.

Currently, most of the oil companies have scaled down their activities on-site as they await the signing of the final investment decision (FID).

However, construction of the USD 309m Hoima International Airport, which will facilitate the construction of the proposed oil refinery in Hoima, continues apace.

Construction works stand at 56 percent and the airport is expected to be completed by February 2023.

According to Amos Muriisa the project’s Public Relations Officer, so far 3.5km runway is almost complete, and it is expected that by the end of this year air cargo will be landing at the airport to deliver oil refinery materials.

“We are currently constructing accommodation for airport operators, a cargo terminal building, and a rescue firefighting system,” he said.

Opportunity for Coops

The Hoima district boss, Kirungi Kadiri, is optimistic that the completion of such oil and gas projects and the signing of the FID will create several opportunities that locals should tap into.

“There is a need for Cooperative societies to encourage their members to engage in big enterprises such as goat rearing, poultry, piggery, and commercial farming so that they can be able to supply the markets that will grow around the oil sector.”

He expressed concern that several farmers’ groups have abandoned the growing of food crops in the favour of sugarcanes, adding that food will soon have to be imported from outside Hoima to meet the projected demand.

“The oil sector will lead to an influx of people into the area, which will create a market for food, accommodation, health services, and transport. Where will these people get food if you continue to grow mainly sugarcane?” Kadiri wondered.

He also advised the cooperatives to register with the National Supplier’s Database so that they can be able to do business with oil companies.


Philemon Rugaaju Bagada, the Board Chairman, Bunyoro Growers Co-operative Union, says that they have not been able to sensitize and prepare their members on issues regarding oil and gas due to lack of funds.

He asked for government support to facilitate the sensitization of members about the available opportunities.

“Many of our members have not bothered to prepare for oil because they lack information,” he said.

Meanwhile, Fr. Francis Xavier, the Director of Hoima Caritas Development Organization (HOCADEO) says that they have started supporting farmers’ groups with training and inputs such as goats, maize milling machines, piglets, and poultry among others.

“All these initiatives are geared at preparing farmers to benefit from the oil” he said.

However, he challenged the farmers to form cooperative societies in order to have one voice and increased bargaining power for their products.

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