Farmers who enrolled under the Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP) in Ntungamo district are worried that they may incur losses after Green Firm Africa (U) Limited, the supplier contracted to supply bean seeds, failed to deliver them on time.
While other farmers are taking advantage of the rains to do their planting, the over 1000 farmers enrolled under the project are stranded as they wait for seeds to plant. Many say they had already prepared their gardens anticipating that the seeds would be delivered on time.
ACDP is a six-year intervention partnership between the government of Uganda and the World Bank intended to boost commercial production of five prioritized crops in 42 districts. The crops are maize, beans, cassava, rice, and coffee.
The project focuses on raising on-farm productivity and production of marketable volumes of selected agricultural commodities in specified geographical clusters
Ntungamo District Agricultural Officer Esther Atwiine says the contracted supplier is yet to deliver seeds to the district two weeks after the agreed date.
“Due to this delay, farmers are likely to miss out on the first rains which are key for a good harvest,” she says.
Atwiine revealed that although the district hosts the store for Cluster II, comprised of Ntungamo, Sheema, Bushenyi, Isingiro, Rubanda, Rukiga and Kabale districts, inputs for only two districts-Isingiro and Sheema- have so far been delivered to the store.
Tom Kakwangiire, a farmer, wonders why the supplier, who received farmers’ orders early enough, would fail to deliver the seeds in time for planting.
“Our gardens are getting bushy again, meaning that we shall have to invest more money to clear them anew,” he said.
Suzan Twijukye, a resident of Bwongyera sub-county proposes that the supplier be suspended for failing to deliver as promised, thereby causing farmers to suffer losses.
This is not the first time that delivery of supplies has been delayed. In 2019, the inputs, which included bean seeds and fertilizer for coffee farmers, were delivered in late April, resulting in poor yields for affected farmers.