The newly sworn in Minister of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries Frank Tumwebaze has promised to drag all persons and institutions that stole government land especially that which was previously used as government stock farm or for research purposes at districts.
According to Tumwebaze, many government programs such as NAADS have been in effective due to limited land yet a lot of it is illegally occupied by individuals and other sectors.
“Without land, we won’t be able to serve people now and tomorrow. On this note we need now to go and launch a legal war of claiming government land especially of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The minister appealed for support from Local Council leaders in his battle.
“With urge for effective support, I’m as well appealing to all District leaders not to connive and steal ministry’ land,” he said.
Tumwebaza declared the way while commissioning the construction of Bungokho Zonal Agricultural Center in Mbale, a center that has been created to promote commercialization of agriculture , create jobs for youths within Bugisu, Sebei, Bukeddi and Teso regions.
According to Engineer Boniface Okanya, the project coordinator of Mechanisation projects, the project is to cost UGX 3.2 billion and that the it is to occupy 5cres of land.
He adds that the project is to handle different agricultural sectors which include crops , fish farming and equipping farmers with various agricultural skills.
The Bungokho Zonal Agricultural Center is the 3rd in the country to be constructed of the targeted 18 Zonal Agricultural mechanization centers.
The centre is to initially to start with fish farming then it will later initiate other projects and its expected to be operational by December this year.
While he launched the construction, minister Tumwebaze urged Mbale LC5 chairperson Muhammad Mafabi to put strict supervision on agricultural extension workers within the district so that they can effectively perform their work.
“You must have another war with the staff you own. They must wake up, get away from local politics and do work of the sector which include doing extension services, it shouldn’t be ministers and MPs to come down, we are now encouraging the parish model,” he said.
Tumeebaze added that failure of agricultural extension workers to perform effectively partly contributes to the poor performance of different government agricultural projects.