MPs have asked government through the Ministry of Agriculture to urgently give out seeds to farmers as they wait for Parish Development Model to start.
The MPs led by Patrick Nsamba noted that although the rains have started, the farmers are still waiting for the seeds from government.
“The planting season has started, but the farmers do not have seeds. They are waiting for the Parish Development Model to start but it seems the programe is becoming a non-starter. In the meantime, what interventions have the Ministry of Agriculture put in place to mitigate the problem?” Nsamba asked.
The Minister for Agriculture was not in the House to respond to the MPs’ concern.
This prompted the Speaker of Parliament Anita Among to ask State Minister of Finance Henry Musasizi to explain whether government had allocated funds for seeds.
“Are you aware that farming is done in seasons and its now planting season? Have you allocated money for seeds and how much?” she asked.
Musasizi said that money for seeds was amalgamated and taken to Parish Development Model where the seeds would be given to farmers through their SACCOs.
He said the SACCOs that are ready will soon receive the sh100m meant for each of them.
“Don’t say the PDM is a non-start. The programme is moving on smoothly, and the money for the SACCOs is there. Whichever is ready will receive the money,” he said.
Among ordered Musasizi to make a full statement next week on the matter.
Pillars 3, 5 and 6 guidelines, provide that prior to the formation of PDM enterprise, groups and SACCOs, local governments must conduct wealth ranking exercises at community meetings and data collection on all households in the parish to identify the target beneficiary households on enterprise selection, enterprise group formation and registration.
Subsequently, the enterprise groups form one PDM SACCO per parish, which is registered under the Cooperative Societies Act.
The PDM SACCO is also expected to open up a bank account in a financial institution supervised by Bank of Uganda.
The ministry has since received reports that some local governments did not comply with the PDM guidelines for example formation of PDM enterprise Groups before the identification of the target beneficiary households and enterprise selection, opening of bank accounts with the involvement of PDM SACCO members and leaders among others.
According to the guidelines, PDM SACCOs formed outside the issues of PDM guidelines are ineligible to receive PRF funds until corrective measures have been taken.