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Home News Agriculture Ministry Unveils Multibillion Project To Grow Oil Palm

Agriculture Ministry Unveils Multibillion Project To Grow Oil Palm

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Egessa Hajusu

The agriculture ministry has unveiled a multibillion project to grow oil palm on Lolwe islands in Namayingo district.

This is part of the plan also covering Bugiri and Mayuge districts identified by government for growing oil palm because of their proximity to Lake Victoria.

The districts are to benefit from the sh154 billion investment which includes harvesting.

The  Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries  (MAAIF ) assured the beneficiary districts of using its road equipment to open roads in the project areas.

Ronald Sanya, the Namayingo district chairperson said they have already secured 50 out of the 100-acre piece of land allocated for palm nurseries and processing factories.

Kyakula greeting Namayingo RDC Isabirye Kuraba and Magaret Makoha the area Woman Member of Parliament
Kyakula greeting Namayingo RDC Isabirye Kuraba and Magaret Makoha the area Woman Member of Parliament.

As  Fredrick  Bwino Kyakulaga the state minister of agriculture launched the project on Wednesday, some local authorities expressed fear that the project will be jeopardized since the land allocated belongs  to the ministry of tourism .

The ministry of tourism initially applied for 48 acres in Lolwe but processed a title for 5500 acres covering almost the whole of Lolwe sub-county which left residents living as squatters and also hindered Namayingo district from setting up schools and health facilities in Lolwe.

Consequently, when rolling out the oil palm project Namayingo district authorities only considered ten sub counties leaving out Lolwe where residents lack access to at least two acres piece of land required for growing oil palm.

However, while speaking on Wednesday at Butajja community learning centre, during the launch of the oil palm project in Namayingo district, Kayagulaga rubbished the ownership of land by the tourism ministry saying it was not an issue.

He argued that since the tourism ministry has not put a caveat on the said land, residents are free to use it.

“We should help residents to grow oil palm. Even squatters can engage in the project,” he said adding that when he went to Lolwe, residents requested oil palm seedlings, an indication that they were willing to engage in the project,”

Kyakulaga made the remarks in response to concerns raised by Dr Stephen Batwala, the Namayingo district production officer who said Lolwe Island residents have been left out of the multibillion oil palm project due to lack of land ownership.

Friday Kyomya the Namayingo district chief administrative officer who previously worked in Kalangala where oil palm growing has been embraced encouraged Namayingo residents to warmly welcome the project which he described as a golden opportunity.

The Namayingo district Woman Member of Parliament Margaret Makoha Namakangala cautioned residents against hiring their land for sugar cane growing.

Makoha rallied farmers to take up oil palm growing which she said is now the only perianal crop in the district. She also reminded farmers to ensure that they leave portions of land for food security.

Susan Lakonyero the project manager for the three districts encouraged the community to enroll for the project.

A total of 457 acres of land has so far been identified with 199 surveyed in Namayingo district for the project in a few sub-counties.

LEAD PHOTO CAPTION: An official explaining to Kyakula how to use insecticide to stop termites from destroying oil palm (Photos by Egessa Hajusu)

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