President Yoweri Museveni has praised the Lango Cultural Foundation for developing strategic economic plans aimed at making the people of Lango sub-region join the money economy and eradicate poverty in their households.
“I am glad the Foundation wants to do institutional farming, that is why you are asking for tractors,” he said.
“This is a good idea. It is in the right direction, because when a cultural institution engages in commercial farming, it becomes like a school.
“The ordinary people learn from it, they copy. It is not only getting money for the cultural institution but also teaching our people here.”
Museveni made the remarks on Thursday in a meeting with the leader of Lango Cultural Foundation, His Highness Yosam Odur Ebii at Baralegi State Lodge in Okwang sub-county, Otuke district.
The President was responding to the memorandum prepared by the foundation’s cabinet and presented by their prime minister, James Robert Ebilo.
He was equally delighted to learn from them that they are ready to grow perennial crops such as coffee, cocoa and avocado.
He encouraged them to also take interest in dairy and fish farming which will help people to eradicate poverty.
“The seasonal crops are good but they are a bit erratic. But the perennial crops give you a stable base. You harvest this year, next year even if the price goes down, it can’t go down so much that you fail,” said Museveni.
“Some of these areas have enough rain to grow coffee and other crops that need good rainfall. So, I am happy with this awakening of our people.”
On the Tochi Irrigation Scheme, President Museveni said once the scheme is operational, it will open up the eyes of the people to realize that crops can be grown all year round.
“You may not be able to do everything but if you do it in one or two places and do it very well then it becomes a wakeup call for others.”
He also lauded Lango Cultural Foundation for their plan to open up a ranch and pledged to support them in promoting the enterprise.
On their request for industries to add value to cassava, Museveni welcomed the proposal, saying he is already working with Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Gulu Archdiocese to open up one in Acholi sub-region.
Citing the Atiak Sugar project, he was critical of Members of Parliament who frustrate some of these projects.
“For example, we wanted to support Archbishop Odama with the cassava in Nwoya and Acholibur. We are ready to move. But the MPs must stop interfering with my programmes. Once I support something, I know what I am doing, so that delay must stop!”
The Lango Cultural Foundation also took plaudits in their quest to promote eco-tourism in places such as Kangai.
On afforestation, Museveni welcomed their proposal of heightening the preservation of the environment and threatened to sign an executive order that will ban the indiscriminate cutting of trees for charcoal burning.
“I really intend to ban the business of charcoal because that business is very dangerous to the environment. I am going to sign an executive order banning the cutting of trees for charcoal and anyone found doing it will be prosecuted.”
On cattle rustling, the President reassured members of the Lango Cultural Foundation that the area will be pacified, and cattle raids will end.
“That is why I came here. I came here because of that, and we are gearing up for a massive removal of the guns. The area will be pacified.”
He also said the road and electricity infrastructure is being worked on, adding that even his road from his home in Baralegi to Lira city will be worked on.
“I also want to enjoy my road here to Lira.”
In the same meeting, the management of Lira University informed the President of their intention to open up the Faculty of Marines, which he commended and assured them of his support.
“We must have people who are well trained to operate these ferries”.
President Museveni and members of Lango Cultural Foundation also discussed matters concerning the development of Lango sub-region.