Oyam – When President Museveni and his government partly abolished National Agricultural Advisory Services [NAADS] citing unsatisfactory results and corruption by officers and replaced it with Operation Wealth Creation [OWC] and gave its management to his UPDF soldiers, anticipation got elevated that Ugandans would no longer be in poverty.
Beneficiaries were told of how their households’ income would double on top of being able to get free seedlings.
Again, Ugandans were told of available market and better market price and its [seedlings] resistance to pest and diseases. These promises however, is angering Defense State Minister who also doubles as the Oyam North MP, Charles P. Okello Engola Macodwogo, a beneficiary of OWC project.
Macodwogo who has planted citrus on a six  acre piece of land is counting loses after he has failed to get markets for his citrus.
Also, his citrus farm has been attacked by pest and diseases, stray animals. He also termed varieties he was given as ‘poor’.
Hon. Col. Engola says since he planted citrus, he has not seen any good harvest at all. “They [citrus] are getting rotten before it’s ready for sale,” angry farmer turned Defense Minister told our reporter.
“I call upon Ministry of Agriculture to come in and help people of Oyam in fighting “Kangka” a disease which has destroyed six acres of my citrus in the farm,” Macodwogo cries.
Like him, he says many people [farmers] are getting loses due to uncontrolled pest and diseases, lack of market and poor varieties given alongside stray animals in the neighborhood.
The former Oyam district LC5 chairperson recommended Oyam district council to pass out tough bye-laws against stray animals and penalty to those who supply fake seedlings to farmers.
“My anger is too much over the money I lost on farming,” he cried further.
Like he did it in the past, killing by gunshot a neighbor’s domestic animal from his home, Okello says soon he will begin gunning stray animals he finds destroying his farm.
Isaac Omara, who’s the Nathan Agro Mixed Farm [NAMF] manager in Oyam North, told our reporter that the farm [Minister Engola] has lost over shs.24million on citrus fruits in the last five years due to an endless rotting of fruits alone.
“We are spending shs.2.4million each season for buying Mankozeb chemicals for spraying Valencia type but still get rotten before it is ready for sale. Besides, we have lost lots of money on weeding, primary cultivation and planting” Omara added.
Omara said they lost interest in citrus and have started poultry farming with 10,000 broilers alongside 1,500 stems of Apples for the starts.
Eunice Akello, an expert in Apple grafting at NAMF says apple takes only three years and begin bearing 800 fruits each stem per season.
Akello advised women to go for free training in apple grafting at NAMF and to begin earning big rather than going on streets for nonproductive business.
Nathan Agro Mixed Farm is a private farm located in Awangi parish, Oyam district with about 12 employees dealing in citrus, poultry, and cattle keeping, among others.