• June 18, 2024
  • Last Update June 18, 2024 3:21 PM
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ADF Bill to benefit Busia farmers

ADF Bill to benefit Busia farmers


Wednesday, May 22, 2024

KNA by Absalom Namwalo

Farmers in Busia County are set to benefit from free funding if the Agricultural Develop Fund bill is passed by the County Assembly.

The Assembly’s Agricultural Committee chairperson Beatrice Kanoti said her nine-member committee was scrutinising the bill at Hotel Levantes in Amagoro before tabling the report in the assembly for debate and adaptation.

“The bill is important to farmers as it will enable them access funding from the county government if passed by the County Assembly,” she said.

Kanoti added: “The bill will create awareness to farmers and it will help them embark on massive agriculture, get quality seeds and market for their produce.”

She urged her fellow MCAs to pass the bill once tabled in the Assembly to enable farmers access the funds, noting that agriculture is the backbone of the country, thus the need by farmers to embark on agriculture to improve on crop production, put money in their pockets and improve the country’s food security.

Kanoti said the bill was part of Governor Dr Paul Otuoma’s revitalization programme, adding that the funding would to be cascaded to grass root levels to enable farmers through soil testing by extension officers get the right seeds that will enable them increase crop productivity.

The chairperson said farmers would plant edible oils to sustain the Industrial Park at Nasewa in the provision of raw material.

The principal object of this Bill is to provide for the growth and development of the agricultural sector, enhance production, improve quality, value addition, and marketing and to establish the County Agricultural Development Fund to finance the agricultural sector, she said.

“This will enhance agricultural productivity in the county and improve the economic status of farmers in the community,” Kanoti said.

The Bill will also provide a legal framework to facilitate the growth and development of agriculture in the county and, in particular, to establish the County Agricultural Development Fund to finance the agricultural development initiatives; promote of the production, processing, marketing, and distribution of agricultural products in suitable areas of the county.

The Fund shall be financed from monies apportioned by the assembly, license fees, gifts, donations, and grants from any lawful source.

The purpose of the Fund shall be to fund the agricultural sector, facilitate the provision of farm inputs, irrigation, infrastructure, and promotion of value addition.

The Fund shall also be applied in control of plant and animal diseases, soil and water conservation, market research, and generally agricultural development initiatives, noted Kanoti.

She said the Fund shall be administered by a Board of Trustees comprised of the Chief officers in the relevant departments, non-public officer representatives, and the CEO of the Fund.

Ms. Kanoti said despite the passing numerous bills since the onset of devolution in 2013 by the county assembly of Busia, including on the invasive weed eskuta, the executive had failed to implement them, thus wasting resources used including public participation and enactment of the law.

Agriculture Chief Officer Timothy Odende said the weed is propagated by birds and human beings through contaminated planting materials.

“When the weed perches on the host plant, it injects it with a poisonous substance and starts forming a canopy that eventually suffocates the plant.” He stated.

Researchers have described the weed as dangerous and warned that it could adversely affect the tree planting campaign that was meant to help the country achieve 30 percent forest cover.

Residents whose hedges and trees have been destroyed by the weed are now calling on the government to find a lasting solution.

Courtesy; KNA

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