41 farmers in Ibanda town council have rejected poor quality farm inputs that were supplied to them under the National Agricultural Advisory Services program -NAADS. The rejected farm inputs include 20 heifers, 32 she goats, 20 piglets and 130 chicks.
The farmers accuse the NAADS procurement team of conniving with suppliers to swindle NAADS money. Elidad Bukyiriro, one of the affected farmers from Kyaruhanga Ward says that that they were given poor quality goats and piglets.
He explains that the poor goat and piglet breeds were valued at shillings 200,000 and 100,000 each respectively. Bukyiriro says that similar goats cost shillings 50,000 in the open local market. Bukyiriro has threatened to write to the president over the matter.
Another farmer, Mzee Nathaneiri Bitariho accuses corrupt town council officials of trying to exploit the poor. Donanti Rwaburitware, Ibanda District NAADS coordinator who was present when the farmers rejected the input says that the poor quality inputs will be returned to the supplier.
Rwaburitware says that the supplier has to replace the inputs as outlined in the contract he signed with the NAADS procurement team. Dr Teophilus Mwesigye, Ibanda District Veterinary Officer has promised to take appropriate action against the suppliers.
But Evode Mugisha, the LC II Chairman of Ibanda town council wants government to overhaul the entire procurement process to eliminate fake suppliers. He says that unless the tendering process is changed the NAADS program will not benefit the local people.