The National Oil Palm Project (NOPP) has kicked off in Buwangwe Nairambi sub-county in Buvuma District.
The Project which had been delayed for sixteen years due to lack of enough land for the private investor (BIDCO Uganda Ltd) was to establish 50,000 hectares of the plant and another 2,500 hectares by small scale farmers on Island.
With about seven hundred tenants compensated to leave their land, most of the land has been acquired and already mapped to ensure that the project takes off.
According to Wilson Sserunjogi, the Oil Palm Focal Person Buvuma, the delays in compensation has been due to absence of land titles from landlords and also some landlords have not yet signed the sales agreements which hinders compensation.
Under this arrangement two hundred sixty four small holder farmers (out growers) have registered and ready to participate in the project, targeting to plant over 500 hectares by June 2021
The National Oil palm project, is devoted to a sustainable and inclusive oil palm Development in Uganda. The project is to work through the hubs of Buvuma, Mukono, Buikwe, Mayuge, Bugiri, Namayingo, Kalangala, Kyotera, Masaka among others.
This is a follow up project on the Vegetable oil Development project, which successfully empowered over 3500 farmers in Kalangala and got them out of poverty, by raising incomes for small scale farmers. .The project also helped to increase the domestic production of vegetable oil and its byproducts,
The investment in oil palm in Kalangala brought about a transformative social-economic impact in the district. The project piloted an innovative public/private/producer partnership through an integrated processor/nucleus estate /small holder model. Some 1.8002.063 households and firms benefited directly as oil palm out growers, while another 3000 people gained employment on the nucleus estate and on the oil palm mill or on the small holder plots.
The expanding national and regional markets for vegetable oil means, there’s growing private sector interest in oil palm industry and small scale farmers in other districts of Uganda are keen to take up the crop.
However, the MP for Buvuma Islands County, Robert Migadde Ndugwa said that alot still deserves to be done on small scale farms if they are to benefit from the project otherwise, the project will only help the nucleus farmer.
He challenged the Ministry of Agriculture to avail farmers with machinery for these farmers as a means of speeding up and catching up with the season.
“Expanding national and regional markets for vegetable oil means growing of the private sector interest in oil palm industry and small scale farmers in other districts of Uganda to take up the crop.” He said
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