Red Pepper Uganda

Fake Church Maize seeds anger Arua farmers

Farmers of Dadamu Sub County in Arua district have expressed anger over the recent maize seeds donated to them by Madi and West Nile Diocese.
Led by John Afema, the LCI Chairman of Mvara Central village, Dadamu Sub County, the farmers claim that the maize seeds which they received from Church officials in April this year, failed to germinate in most fields while others were prone to Army worms.
Speaking to Red Pepper in an interview on Tuesday, Afema explained that his farmers are not happy for the loss they have so far, made as a result of the seeds.
He said to date, the Army worms that came with the seeds are devastating different crops in various fields in Dadamu Sub County.
But when contacted over the matter, Rev. Canon Isaac Candia, the Madi and West Nile Diocese Secretary said the seeds were donated to the Diocese by Uganda Prisons Services on behalf of Operation Wealth Creation (OWC).
“Actually, we didn’t request for the seeds but we found they were already brought here. We had no option other than distributing them to farmers throughout the 11 Archdeaconaries of the Diocese,” Candia stated.
Candia noted that from the time they distributed the seeds, they didn’t receive any complaints through the Archdeaconaries apart from the recent concerns raised by farmers of Dadamu Sub County.
According to Candia, the Church received 5 tonnes of maize seeds which they distributed to about 4,000 farmers.
Meanwhile Dr. Gordon Toa, the Arua district production officer expressed ignorance over the seeds saying as concerned district officials, they were not involved in the process of the seed distribution.
Dr. Toa argued that procedurely, the seeds would have come through them for satisfaction before being handed over to the farmers for plantation.
However, Jude Kalisa, the in charge of seeds and cotton at Uganda Prison Services said they acquired the seeds from the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) not OWC as earlier claimed.
He also rubbished claims that the seeds were fake, saying they were first certified by the Ministry of Agriculture before being transported to the Diocese for distribution.
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