IGANGA: Government has embarked on a program of registering all farmers infive pilot districts in the country for purposes of effectiveplanning.
The Assistant Commissioner in charge farm land planning agriculturecluster development program at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries,Henry Opolotrevealed this while addressing parish,subcounty chiefs,at hotel continental in Iganga municipal council on Monday June 10.
He saidpreviously government lacked data on thenumber of farmers spreadcountrywide thus could not effectively budget for drugs during timesof disaster like disease outbreaks.
Opolot said parish chiefs will have to move to all villageswithin theirjurisdiction asking farmers about the kind of crops theygrow, number of livestock and type they have and later hand over the datato the respective sub county chiefs.
He however cautioned parish chiefs against demanding the farmers toprovide information about the amount of money they receive.
“We don’t want farmers to think that the information they are givinggovernment is for purposes of taxing them,”he said.
Opolot said the program is to first start in the five pilotdistricts of Iganga,Nebbi,Amuru,Packwach and Ntungamo and will laterroll out to the entire country within the next two years.
“The data base at the ministry will help government plan for farmerswhenever there is an emergency unlike in the past where we have beenrelying on guess work,”he said.
He advised farmers to cooperate with the parish chiefs and provide all necessary data whenever they appear in their respective villages.
Opolot said developed countries have effectively contained any kind ofdisasters that occur during the times of the year because theyhave full data about the number of farmers besides the kind oflivestock in their possession.
The statistician in the ministry of agriculture animal industry andfisheries,EfulansiMutesi said all data obtained will be stored indigital form to avoid any kinds of deletions.
Mutesi said the ministry was also considering giving out tablets toall sub county chiefs for purposes of saving data acquired and for effective reporting purposes.
The district production officer Iganga,Sula Nantantya cautionedopposition politicians against politicizing the program saying any onefound guilty risks being arrested and prosecuted before courts of lawfor sabotaging government programs.