MASINDI – The member of parliament for Bujenje County Kenneth Kiiza Nyendwoha has called upon the youth in Masindi district to form cooperatives to enable them tap into support from the government.
“Unity is the way to go if you are to develop. Stop working in isolation and form cooperative groups to help you share ideas. When you’re united and organized, everyone will look for you,” Nyendwoha explained.
Nyendwoha was speaking during the ground breaking ceremony of the construction of a maize milling facility for Bujenje Maize Farmers Cooperative Society Limited at Bikonzi village in Bikonzi Sub County at the end of last week.
He also gave them Shs 1 million cash to help the cooperative smoothly run its activities.
The Cooperative which was formed by the youth in the area received Shs 167 million under Agriculture Cluster Development Program (ACDP) to enable them add value to their maize production.
According to their budget, Shs 86 million is for the construction of the structure to house the facility while Shs 67 million is for the procurement of the maize processing machine.
“The money was given under ACDP and the beneficiaries were tasked to write more proposals so that they can access further funding. Their proposal was appreciated and that’s why you are seeing them getting money today,” said Richard Kiiza the principal assistant secretary to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).
The members also contributed 33% which was one of the requisites for them to qualify for this funding.
Barbara Benya, the cooperative chairperson said, the facility is going to boost their income and also create market for maize in the area.
“We are going to use this chance to produce quality maize flour to enable us get enough market,” said Benya.
Benya added that they’re currently 108 members adding that they started as a small association in 2018, after being organized by National Cooperatives Business Association (NCBA).
He also thanked Recreation for Development and Peace Uganda (RDPU), for giving them knowledge on how to make business plans to enable them start a small business enterprise.
RDPU is a youth-based organization that skills the youth in different areas in the districts of Masindi, Bulisa, Kikuube and Apac.
Benya said that the organization has helped them acquire leadership skills and knowledge on how to write business plans and proposals.
“This knowledge has helped us a lot to reach this stage,” the Chairperson added.
Cosmas Byaruhanga, the Masindi district LCV Chairman who also graced the function asked the members of the cooperative to resourcefully utilize the facility to add value to their maize.
“I am imploring you to make a brand. I don’t want to see you selling maize in a raw form and yet you would be getting money from other bi- products. I am also warning you against mismanaging this project. Make sure that you have clear record keeping, transparency and accountability,” said Byaruhanga.
He added that many cooperatives which are starting now are not celebrating their first birthday day because of lack of honesty among the leaders and the need to pay themselves.
“Being a leader in a cooperative is a sacrifice once you deviate from that, just know you’re heading for collapse,” Byaruhanga added.
Presiding over the function, Dominic Tibasimwa, the Deputy Resident District Commissioner (DRDC) Masindi promised to help more youths who are organized in groups and cooperatives to get support from the government.
The construction of the facility has already commenced and it will be supervised by Masindi district local government.
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