Oil, Maize Mills Redundant In Karamoja

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In short
Charles Aben, an official from the National Agriculture Advisory Services- NAADS secretariat, says power connection was an oversight in the project implementation but has been revisited.

Several value addition projects supported under the Operation Wealth Creation-OWC program in Karamoja region have failed to kick off. They include a maize grinding mill procured for farmers in Iriiri Sub County in Napak district, oil mill in Kotido district and Milk cooler in Kaabong district.

The maize mill has remained redundant after the group failed to connect power to the grinding house. The mill is one of the value addition incentives put by Operation Wealth Creation, OWC in 2015. The sunflower oil mill in Kotido and milk cooler in Kaabong are also redundant after years of procurement.



The machines were procured to help farmers add value to their produce. Paul Abul, the chairperson Iriiri Center Farmer's Produce Group, says although the mill was accompanied by a store donated by the World Food Programme, which now keeps more than 50,000 bags of maize, the intended purpose for the mill has not been met because of power.  

He notes that the absence of power is forcing some farmers to opt out of the group to grind their maize from other areas. Charles Aben, an official from the National Agriculture Advisory Services- NAADS secretariat, says power connection was an oversight in the project implementation but has been revisited.
 
He told URN that Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited- UEDCL has already been contacted to connect power to the maize mill in Iriiri.  Aben also notes that the sunflower oil mill project was delayed by land disputes. 


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Aben says the min- survey conducted in the selected districts with millers indicate that production levels of maize, sunflower and milk will be able to sustain the machines.