The Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Frank Tumwebaze has commissioned and handed over agricultural equipment and other agro-infrastructure to farmers under the Agro-industrialization for Local Economic Development (AGRILED) Programme.
The minister handed over the multibillion shillings equipment during a three-day visit to the Tooro sub-region where he also monitored the progress of implementation of Government projects.
AGRILED is a presidential initiative piloted in the Rwenzori region to spur economic development in the region through agro-industrialization focusing on increased production, improved storage, value addition and marketing.
In FY 2019/20, Operation Wealth Creation under the patronage of the Chief Coordinator Gen. Salem Saleh pioneered the identification and prioritization of projects under the AGRILED with Rwenzori as a pilot subregion.
Implementation of the programme commenced in the financial year 2020/21 when the government released the Shs49 billion to the NAADS Secretariat, the lead implementor of the programme.
The programme is being implemented under local governments of Kasese, Kitagwenda, Bunyangabu, Kabarole, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Ntoroko, Bundibugyo, Kamwenge and Fort Portal City.
Out of the Shs49bn, NAADS Secretariat procured 13 tractors, 12 milk coolers, seven maize mills and their structures, two feed mills and their structures, two mini dairy processing facilities, one rice mill and seven coffee hullers.
NAADS also constructed five grain stores and is in the process of constructing 10 agricultural markets. Under the same programme, NAADS will establish two irrigation schemes in Kamwenge and Kasese districts, has already constructed an industrial park in Kasese district and another one is set to be constructed in Kabarole district.
Minister Tumwebaze was accompanied by State Ministers Bright Rwamirama and Hellen Adoa with whom they commissioned some of the completed projects and handed them over to the selected farmers.
He started in Kyegegwa where he handed over a grain store, a maize mill, a feed mill and four milk coolers to the beneficiary farmer associations.
In Bunyangabu district, he handed over five tractors, four milk coolers and two maize mills. He ended his visit in Kamwenge where he handed over eight tractors and four milk coolers to beneficiaries in both Kamwenge and Kitagwenda districts.
Farmers in the two districts are also set to receive two maize mills, two grain stores and two coffee hullers.