Farmers fail to access farm inputs on Ministry e-platform

A farmer in her garden in Nebbi. Women in Africa are the backbone for agricultural development. PHOTO BY FELIX WAROM OKELLO

What you need to know:

  • The farmers say the system has affected their planting patterns.

About 3,640 model farmers in Nebbi District, who were registered under the Agricultural Cluster Development Programme (ACDP) to access agricultural inputs on E-voucher, are stuck after failure of the system.

The farmers say the system has affected their planting patterns.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry under the Agriculture cluster Development Programme (ACDP) introduced the e-voucher system five years ago to enable farmers access agricultural inputs electronically.

One of the group members of Adiya-Rach Agricultural Development Association from Atego Sub County in Paminya Upper Parish in Nyayamo Village, Ms Akech Anzila, said she paid for tarpaulins and other farm tools through the e-voucher system but she has never received the items.

Akech said when they were sensitised on the programme, they were promised timely delivery.

“We shall take the Ministry of Agriculture to court for the failed programme of the e-voucher system,” she said.

Another coffee farmer in Erussi Sub County, Mr Genaro Unenchan, said the electronic voucher system has not been effective due to network interruptions. 

“We were trained by the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry on how to access services on the e-voucher system but the system left farmers disappointed and now farmers are demanding that the service providers pay back their money,” Mr Unenchan said.

The manager of Yesu-dit Cooperative, Mr Louis Onencan, said of 776 cassava farmers who applied and paid for the cassava cuttings through the electronic voucher system, only four farmers succeeded.

“The factory will be underfed due to the poor e-voucher system which affected our planting season.

There was poor electronic services rendered to farmers by the services provided sub-contracted by the ministry of Agriculture,” Mr Onencan said.

Response
Responding to the anomalies, the Agricultural Cluster Development Programme Focal Point person in Nebbi, Ms Joyce Piwa, said of 3,640 registered farmers in the district, 906 farmers who paid for the services failed.

She said the Ministry of Agriculture had contracted the United Bank of Africa to bring services nearer to farmers but the system failed.

Ms Piwa said the ministry has now tasked United Bank of Africa to refund the farmers’ money.
She said farmers were registered and paid for services such as tractor hiring, cassava cuttings, coffee pulpier, tarpaulins and farm complements.

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