By John Ogulei
A section of Members of Parliament from Teso Sub Region through Teso Parliamentary Group have castigated Teso farmers for failing to join Teso Cooperative Union in order to benefit from Soroti Fruit Factory.
Headed by Patrick Okabe, the Serere County Member of Parliament, the MPs accuse farmers for failing to join TEFCU.
Okabe while speaking to this website over the weekend noted that the ongoing lamentation by Teso citrus farmers is due to their failure to join TEFCU.
He said that Teso citrus farmers must stop lamenting over the operations of Soroti Fruit Factory arguing that the factory is ready to consume all Teso fruits but farmers need to be organized.
“You can’t expect the factory to consume your fruits yet you’re not united and working together. The factory doesn’t deal with individuals but with a group of farmers. You can’t plant 100 trees of oranges and expect the factory to pick your oranges. As Teso leaders, we ask you all to join Teso Fruits Cooperative Union (TEFCU),” said Okabe.
He further blamed Teso farmers for failing to supply enough fruits to the factory to enable the smooth running of the factory.
“The fruits we have in Teso cannot help in the daily running of the factory. We have fewer fruits in Teso and those who are lamenting are basically famers who have failed to join the Cooperative movement. The factory needs more fruits and having visited the factory, our farmers are failing to supply. We have few small Cooperative groups who have applied for LPO’s to supply not because they are not allowed but they are not organized,” added Okabe.
“The Factory has now resorted to buying fruits from Kenya and other regions because farmers are failing to supply. It’s not true that the factory doesn’t consume Teso fruits but our farmers are the ones failing to work closely with the Factory management,” noted Okabe.
Recently during an interview with this website, Jorem Opian Obicho, the outgoing TEFCU asked Teso citrus farmers to join TEFCU in order to benefit from the factory.
Douglas Ndawula, the Soroti Fruit Factory Chief Executive Officer, while in an interview with this website revealed that the factory is ready to work with the farmer groups that are registered.
He said that at least a total of over 100 small scale cooperative unions have been issued with the LPO’s to supply the factory with fruits.