President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is on October 10, 2020 set to hand over a dummy cheque of UGX 60 Billion and flag off Post harvest and value addition equipment and Machinery to beneficiary farmer organisations under the Agriculture Cluster Development project.
The event is scheduled to take place at the Agricultural Mechanisation Centre, Namalere, Wakiso and in attendance, there will be farmer organisations, who are the recipients of these Post-harvest and value addition machinery, the Suppliers of the equipment, the district local governments, staff from the Ministry among others. The minister of agriculture Vincent Ssempijja said.
Sempijja said the World Bank and his ministry are working to boost value chains, since private sector participation and involvement is key.
Sempijja said through a partnership with the World Bank, the Government of Uganda is investing US$ 150 million in the Agriculture Cluster Development project, which is implemented in 57 districts, grouped into twelve geographical clusters, with each cluster consisting of three to seven districts.
He said Matching Grants of up to USD 75,000 supporting 67% of required community investments are provided to Farmer Organizations to acquire postharvest and value addition infrastructure and facilities.
Sempijja added that the community investment is meant to support farmers to undertake bulking, value addition and collective marketing of quality produce for better prices and eventually get better incomes.
“To date, the Ministry has signed grant agreements with 193 selected Farmer Organization from 24 pilot districts and approved additional 378 Farmer Organizations who are being prepared for grant agreement signing,” Sempijja said.
He added that as of September 30, 2020, government had disbursed UGX 21.7 Billion to One hundred and eleven beneficiaries in the pilot 24 districts.
According to Sempijja, the ministry has supported one hundred and eleven (111) farmer Organizations under a Matching grant mechanism (with a government contribution of 67% while the farmer group contributes 33%) towards the development of post-harvest and value addition infrastructures and value addition facilities/equipment.
“The farmer organizations so far supported are from the five pilot clusters of Kalungu, Ntungamo, Nebbi, Amuru and Iganga. The process of evaluating and processing support for other cluster district is underway,” he said
He added “Most of the funded Farmer organisations have completed the first implementation phase of their respective projects that include the construction of their stores and processing infrastructures.”
Sempijja said, there are nine different types of investment valued at UGX 34.9 billion. And these include Storage facilities with 102 beneficiaries valued at UGX 12.7 Bn, Machine Shelter with 78 beneficiaries valued at UGX 5.4 Bn
Value Addition Equipment with 96 beneficiaries valued at UGX 7.3 Bn, Solar Dryers with 16 beneficiaries valued at UGX455 M, Moisture Meters with 36 beneficiaries valued at UGX 138M, Weighing Scales with 33beneficiaries valued at UGX 150M
Three Phase Power connections with 26 beneficiaries valued at UGX1.4 Bn, Accessories(Computers, Generators, Capacity building, land) UGX 5.6 Bn, Environmental and Social Safe Guards UGX1.74 all totaling to UGX 34.88 Bn
“These are now ready for installation of the Agro-processing machinery and equipment, which have been ordered from Six (06) different companies in and around Kampala,” he said.
Sempijja added “The equipment includes: Rice mills; Maize mills, Generators, Bean Seed cleaners, Coffee hullers, Cassava processing equipment, Dryers and among others, which are due for delivery and installation of to 47 different farmer beneficiary project sites.”
He said due to the size of the equipment and the numerous sites, it may not be feasible to have different launches Therefore, for appropriate visibility and publicity, all the ready machinery and equipment will be flagged off from Namalere.