Pader wants Acholi cooperatives revived

Agriculture
Pader wants Acholi cooperatives revived
Officials in Pader are pushing for the revival of East Acholi Cooperative Union to take farmers under its wings

Pader District officials have called on the government to revive cooperative societies under the East Acholi Cooperative Union as part of efforts to fight poverty.

But like a number of other co-operatives nationwide, many of the Union became inactive  through mechanised agriculture.

The Pader District Chairman, Fearless Obwoya, says the government has already advanced Shs1 billion but faulted members on the ground for "not getting any benefit of that money".

It is alleged that there has been mismanagement of the funds allocated for the co-operative union by its management.

This has raised concerns as the Aruu County MP Chris Komakech urged the government to empower the citizens by reviving the East Acholi Cooperative Union.

He believes that this will also help to give life to the ailing ginneries which were once the pride of the Acholi communities.

"With the right stewardship, with the right leadership in Pader right now, let them give us a hand so that we can embark on social economic empowerment in households," Komakech said.

"Put government to task to empower us, by adding value to our produce, to the crops that we do plant."

The legislators hopes that through this, Pader will become an enriched district with a lot in cotton production, coffee and other cash crops.

"There is no way we would have this, having a ginnery functioning, then diving into coffee plantation - which coffee is doing well," he said.

On the other hand, Chairman Obwoya challenged the board members and all stakeholders in the cooperative to be objective about the project.

"My humble appeal is, let the board members be organised, election should take place for new boards, so that when that money comes now, a new board takes up and manages the money," Obwoya, a retired military colonel, said.

He further urged the government to conduct follow up on funds that are always disbursed for activities.

"Like for now, am requesting that government especially ministry of cooperatives to follow up the other money which has already been given, what it has done, let them ask for accountability," he added.

The East Acholi Cooperative Union was founded in 1951. This union's primary cause was to boast the economic status of Acholi by empowering farmers through agricultural cooperatives.

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