By Jonathan Driliga, Arua One FM/NECJOGHA
Arua, Uganda – West Nile Cooperative Union has signed a 30-year agreement with Gloveg Agric Company to promote food crops.
The union, which mainly produced tobacco, has about 20,000 farmers from the sub-region.
Farmers will now grow crops such as soya beans, oil seeds, sorghum which will be bought from the union at Wandi in Katrini sub-county in Arua District.
.Joel Aita, the executive director of Joadah consult, which is managing Gloveg, urged farmers to embrace other crops.
“The next billionaires in Africa will be farmers because once they change their mind-set from growing tobacco, they will realize money through commercial farming,” Aita said at the weekend.
He said under the agreement, they will provide inputs, train farmers on modern farming and marketing and add value to their crops.
Aita said they had signed contracts with organisations in the Middle East to supply produce.
The state minister for investments, Evelyn Anite, who officiated at the function encouraged farmers to grow short- term crops to increase production.
“Why should tobacco farmers use a lot of energy to grow tobacco for a year, yet crops like soya beans can be grown for three months? We shall lobby for the inputs, tractors and lorries for the union so that their goods reach the markets faster,” she said.
Moses Etukibo, the general manager of the union, said they would focus on mechanisation, rebuilding the institution and organizing their farmers.
West Nile cooperative union started in 1969 as a British American tobacco (BAT) supported farmers group with its headquarters at wandi in east Terego County.
Its equipment comprising 10 Tata lorries, 15 tractors and several other properties were destroyed during the insurgency which left it in ruins.