Government has pledged to support all agricultural co-operatives in Uganda as one way of enhancing agricultural production in the country and improving the livelihoods of farmers.
The remarks were made by Joseph William Kitandwe, the Registrar Cooperative Development in the Ministry of Trade, Industries and Cooperatives as he presided over the Annual General Meeting of the National Alliance of Agricultural Co-operatives in Uganda (NAAC) held at Hotel Triangle in Kampala on Friday.
Kitandwe told the cooperators that Government is committed to enhancing and empowering all fully registered co-operatives in the country, and urged Ugandans to join cooperative societies arguing that they are the only organized entities through which the government can support farmers.
NAAC, an umbrella union of agriculture cooperatives was formed in 2018, to provide customized support services to agricultural cooperatives in the country, and last year, it was officially registered as an agricultural cooperative union by the Registrar for Cooperatives under the Co-operative Societies’ Act 1991.
The union is currently made up of 25 member cooperatives, 7 of which are primary with the
rest being secondary cooperatives.
On Friday, NAAC elected its inaugural Board of Directors, optimistic that the new leadership would set the union on course to achieve its mission. Former Board member of the Uganda Cooperative Alliance Emmanuel Sayekwo was elected as the board’s chairperson, to be deputized by Constance Bangirana, the founding chairperson of Kamwenge Tukorehamwe Area Cooperative Enterprise, one of NAAC’s founding cooperatives.
In other elections, Charles Okello was elected as a delegate from Northern Uganda on the board, Issa Kamonges from the East, Grace Lubowa from Central, while Charles Thembo and Dauson Mwijukye were elected from Western Uganda.
Others elected to the board are; Njego Mulumba, Isaac Mugabe and Rev. Peter Kanyamusayi as committee members, while Nimrod Wambette, Yunus Amanya, Ayub Wasige, Harrison Kaziro Ssebuliba and Isaac Ssebulime were elected to constitute the union’s vetting committee.
Harrison Kaziro, NAAC’s acting Chief Executive Officer told theCooperator that the union currently has a total membership of over 20,000 farmers, and that it is setting out to cover the over 400 cooperatives in the agricultural sector. Some of the union’s prominent member cooperatives include Teso Cooperative Union, Cwero Cooperative Society, Sebei-Elgon Cooperative Union, among others.
At the AGM on Friday, Kaziro presented to the members a Shs.402million budget for the union for the year 2020, noting that “These funds shall be collected from shares, local support, entrance and subscriptions by the members.”
He revealed that the union has also signed contracts with other development partners from
whom it expects to get Shs.380 million.