NEBBI – Members of Yesu Dit Cooperative Society in Parombo Sub-county, Nebbi district are stuck with an uninstalled cassava milling machine supplied by a local company, China Huangpai Food Machines [U] Limited.
The leaders of the cooperative said the machine supplied under Agricultural Cluster Development Programme [ACDP] processes only 500 kilos of cassava per hour yet they wanted that with the capacity to process 5,000 tons of cassava per hour.
Both technocrats and political leaders learned this during the district ACDP progress report review meeting held at Nebbi Cathedral over the weekend. The stakeholders were told the machine remains uninstalled, a year after being delivered to the cooperative.
According to the manager of the cooperative, Louis Onen, they were meant to pay Shs 53 million for the machine. The cost included training the cooperative’s machine operators by the supplier, although no training has taken place.
He said much as the machine remains uninstalled, the company continues to demand for an extra Shs 30mln not included in the sale agreement that both sides signed.
“We are getting more pressure from Huangpai Food Machine Limited to pay all their balances yet they supplied us with a low capacity machine which wasn’t specified in our consent agreement. The company has also not trained our machine operators,” Onen said.
ACDP focal point person Nebbi, Joyce Piwa said the machine which remains uninstalled after a year has affected the cooperative’s business.
Edu Obedgiu, the district councilor representing Parombo Sub-county, said although government has injected Shs 1.2 billion in the district to boost cassava and coffee value chains, no impact has been felt on the ground, saying as ACDP design did not provide a clear monitoring system.
Commenting on the uninstalled cassava milling machine, he said farmers and members of the cooperatives lack the capacity when it comes to technical matters such as selecting the exact machines needed for their activities.
“We want more investigations to be lodged in the procurement of the cassava milling machine supplied by Huangpai Food Machine Limited such that the farmers’ cooperative is not cheated,” Obedgiu said.
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