SOROTI – Leaders of Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) have decided to change strategy by moving away from engaging National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) officers to engaging technical and political leaders in their project implementation.
Speaking during a consultative meeting, Princess Kabakumba Labwooli Masiko, the Director (OWC) said, they are moving away from the first phase strategy where they directly engaged with NAADS officers to involving the political leaders and the local government stakeholders.
During their interaction, she said so far, the role of the OWC has been visible except with some of the issues that have not been handled well but promised that it will be tackled in the near future.
Operation Wealth Creation was launched by the President in July 2013 as a away to facilitate national socio- economic transformation; while focusing on raising household incomes and transforming subsistence farmers into commercial farmers.
Recently, farmers received agricultural inputs like maize, beans and more amidst fighting poverty in the region.
According to Dr Fred Muhumuza, the Chairperson of the committee that is revisiting the structure and strategies, OWC has adopted new mechanisms compared to what happened in the first phase.
He said OWC focused mostly on inputs but they had to rethink of new strategies and the nature of engagement with the government agencies.
He added that according to the standing orders assigned by the President, a number of stakeholders were identified to work closely with OWC including the local government technical team.
” The specified teams include the Chief Administrative Officers (CAO), Resident District Officers (RDC), district Chairperson and the District Internal Security Officer (DISO),” he told theCooperator.
He however, cited that there was too much focus on inputs and yet when local governments met, a number of issues were raised which actually fail the success of the inputs.
The Soroti district Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Mr Luke Lokuda applauded the government for giving them support because they have collectively been addressing poverty concerns.
He said through their support, most farmers are running out of poverty since they generate income to sustain their livelihoods.
The Production Officer, Soroti district, William Enyaku, said some of the sectors have not been visible to the farmers especially in Teso.
In the Production department, there are four sectors which include; crop, livestock, entomology and fisheries.
Enyaku complained that the fisheries sector has not been handled well because a number of farmers doing fishing are few.
He said that the potential is not there because it has not been exploited and the water bodies may not be visible enough to promote the enterprise.
He added that the initial investment costs are relatively higher than any other enterprise.
“Only excavating the pond requires a standard of 20-30 meters with a total area of about 600 square miles which cost millions,”Enyaku said.
He appealed to the government that while promoting these programs, they should have avenues that will help equip farmers at the management level, if not it will be shuttered and may not produce good results.
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