UGANDA: NORTH NEEDS $500,000 FOR QUICK ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND TECHNOLOGICAL TRANSFER

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Acholi Economic Conference (AEC) in progress

 “If we want to develop economically, then we need to embrace technology in farming. Farming without technology will not take us far. Use your smart phones to reach out onto the world to access market and innovation”

“If we do that, then we can remove our people from poverty because of small scale subsistence farming, where land use is minimal with the use hand-hoes, to middle income status since they can now open more land”

“This is exploitation in the highest order. In the West, they call sesame ‘white gold’. Its oil is the one they use for sending rockets into space. No peasant farmer should sell next season’s sesame at less than shs.8000 (less than $2.2 dollars) a kilogram. I am going to take this campaign to the peasant farmer in every village”

GULU-UGANDA: A participant at a two-days Acholi Economic Conference has called for an investment of $500,000 US dollars in the production/manufacture of ox-ploughs locally, if the sub-region is to recover economically from the effect of the over twenty-year long Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency.

Mr. George Ocaya, an agricultural Engineer, says if a plant to produce ox-ploughs is established in Gulu, then he and other engineers will produce at least 5,000 ox-ploughs each year to help farmers.

“If we do that, then we can remove our people away from poverty because of small scale subsistence farming, where land use is minimal in with use of hand-hoes, to middle income status since they can now open more land” Mr. Ocaya says.

This conference was held in the Multi-purpose hall of Gulu Senior Secondary School from Friday May 25 to Saturday May 26, 2018.

The brain behind this conference is a London based Economist Mr. Walter Atiko. He says he was inspired to organize the conference following the successful launch of ‘Acholi Cultural Festival’ in November 2017; which was organized by the Acholi Cultural Institution.

Mr. Atiko says he decided to return home and initiate Acholi Economic Conference (AEC) because the whites were exploiting African continent economically.

“If we want to develop economically, then we need to embrace technology in farming. Farming without technology will not take us far. Use your smart phones to reach out onto the world to access market and innovation”, says Mr. Atiko.

He revealed that the oil extracted from ‘organic sesame’ (simsim), an agro produce from northern Uganda, is being procured at peanut prices from peasant farmers in northern Uganda when it is the one the whites are using to drive rockets into space.

“This is exploitation in the highest order. In the West, they call sesame ‘white gold’. Its oil is the one they use for sending rockets into space. No peasant farmer should sell next season’s sesame at less than shs.8000 (less than $2.2 dollars) a kilogram. I am going to take this campaign to the peasant farmer in every village”, says Atiko.

A Presidential Advisor on agriculture, Professor Dr. John Joseph Otim, appealed to the Acholi Community in the Diaspora to transfer their skills and knowledge they acquired from abroad for the reconstruction and development of war ravaged north.

“The time is now, for you to transfer the skills and knowledge you acquired from abroad to develop and we reconstruct our economy together so that we create wealth to our people”, says Professor Otim.

He calls for the practice of ‘climate smart agriculture’ where we look at all the chains of production from ‘soil to fork’ to increase household income; and the people of Acholi cannot do this unless they are united for a purpose and involving women in development issues.

The chairman of Wang OO, Mr. John Livingstone Okello Okello proposed for the establishment of ‘Acholi Investment/Development Bank’ to help farmers with soft loans since there is currently no commercial bank which is friendly to farmers in Uganda.

He decried the current sale of sachet alcohol (waragi), which he says is destroying the youths who should be in the production of wealth.

The Gulu district chairman, Mr. Ojara Martin Mapenduzi appealed to the people of Acholi to stop burying themselves in the past glory without realizing that the world has changed and that things are no longer the same as it was in the past.

“Sometimes we bury ourselves in the past; but things are no longer the same. We have failed to understand how the world has changed. We are likely to fail”, says the chairman.

 

 

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