Maracha RDC warns against misuse of gov’t tractors
By Andrew Cohen Amvesi
ARUA. Rtd. Capt. Yasin Buga Matata, the Maracha Resident District Commissioner (RDC) has warned against misuse of the government tractors received by the district.
This is after Maracha district received a tractor and 19 hand-held tractors from the government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF).
These were part of the 13 tractors and over 150 hand-held tractors and other agricultural implements donated by MAAIF to the West Nile sub region.
The tractors are among the 326 hand-held single axle 16 Horsepower (HP) tractors and 28, 75 Horsepower (HP) units of tractors that the government has donated to West Nile, Lango and Acholi sub regions to scale up agricultural mechanization and improve commercial farming.
Under the initiative, the hand-held tractors will be distributed one per subcounty to be managed by a selected Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (SACCO) under the Parish Development Model (PDM) for better management, but will be used by the entire community in the sub county.
While handing over the tractors to Robert Abia Owilli, the Maracha Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO) and other officials at the district headquarters on Wednesday, Matata emphasized the need to use the machines very well so that they can serve their intended purpose for a very long period of time.
“When these tractors are going to be in sub-counties, I need them to be used very well. If you misuse them, you are going to be in trouble. I don’t want these tractors to be misused,” Matata warned.
“What they have told us is that land should first be prepared well by removing stones and tree stumps so that the hand-held tractors are operated very well. Secondly, the donation of these tractors is in fulfilment of the NRM party manifesto. This is the dream of President Museveni to eradicate poverty among the citizens of Uganda and I want my people of Maracha to make good use of these machines so that they can get out of poverty,” Matata advised.
Besides the hand-held tractors, Matata encouraged locals who have 10 acres of land and above, to come to the district and request for the bigger tractor to work on their fields.
He, however, cautioned against hiring and selling the government tractors, saying anybody found doing so will be arrested and prosecuted in courts of law.
In his remarks, Owilli thanked the RDC, CAO and the MPs in Maracha for ensuring that the equipment donated have officially arrived in the district.
“I also want to thank the government of Uganda for fulfilling its mandate because this is part of the manifesto of the government in power. The strategic direction of the government is that every sub-county should be empowered in terms of agri-business and agricultural productions and I think we are now seeing the output,” Owilli said.
“So, I want to thank the government and wish that whatever is going to be given out to the sub-counties should be used optimally and it should be used responsibly because then, the government thinks about its people and wants its people to produce first of all, for consumption and also for the market,” Owilli added.
Harriet Batreru, the Maracha district Senior Entomologist noted that the equipment is going to support a total of 91 PDM enterprise groups in sub-counties across the district.
“Our role as the production department will be to mobilize them so that they make use of these tractors. As we are aware, our department is supporting Agro-industrialization, so we have to support farmers to increase their acreage, to increase production and also to market and process their goods,” Batreru said.
Pasqualina Ogavu, the councilor representing the elder persons in the council of Maracha district said they are so grateful to the government for the initiative taken to provide the machines for the people.
Ogavu said on behalf of the politicians in the district, they are going to play their supervisory role to ensure that the tractors are not sold but used for their intended purpose in the district.
The news of the tractors excited Grant Odiria, the chairperson of Kijomoro Amanya Ondisi farmers’ cooperative society in Okokoro Town Council who said the equipment will help his farmers to start farming on a large scale.