These farmers have children that have failed to go to back to school; some have died due to lack of funds to pay hospital bills and they cannot afford other basic needs
The Deputy Speaker, Anita Among has directed the Committee on Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to investigate claims of none payment of farmers under the Agriculture Cluster Development Project.
Anita Among said that agriculture is the backbone of the country and non- payment of farmers causes a gap in the economy.
“The under absorption of funds by the ministry and the rigidity therein by the Permanent Secretary is affecting the whole country. Why should a PS undermine the minister?” Among asked.
Among made the directive in response to a matter of national importance raised by Erute South MP, Hon Jonathan Odur who said that farmers in Lira are demanding money from Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries.
“The ministry contracted a number of farmers from Lira, Aleptong, Dokolo and part of Kaberamaido to supply them with cassava cuttings. Since last year, the farmers have not received their payments yet they supplied the cuttings,” he said.
Odur added that many of them are wallowing in poverty yet they have their money with government.
“These farmers have children that have failed to go to back to school; some have died due to lack of funds to pay hospital bills and they cannot afford other basic needs,” he added.
Odur added that the ministry has money but is not willing to pay the farmers for their produce.
“I have learnt that the ministry has money because this project is funded by the World Bank, but the money is lying idle on an account. Why don’t they pay the farmers? Odur asked.
Hon Maurice Kibalya, (NRM, Bugabula County South) said that the permanent secretary is reluctant to make the payments without carrying out due diligence.
“The PS is the former commandant of Kyankwanzi and he categorically told us that he will not make any payments until he has done his own investigations to rule out ghost farmers,” Kibalya said.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.