Farmers reject poor quality seedlings
In August 2017 farmers raised the issue of poor quality seed and disease infested seedlings being supplied under the Operation Wealth Creation program.
The dialogues were organized by COU-TEDDO and took place between community members and technical and political staff of Kapir sub county in Ngora district and Labor, Pingire and Bugondoub counties in Serere district.
During these dialogues, farmers raised the issue of poor quality seed and disease infested seedlings being supplied under the Operation Wealth Creation program. The sub county officials responded by saying that nobody had brought this issue to their attention and farmers had been receiving the seeds/seedlings without any complaint. The sub county officials also added that farmers were not competent enough to identify quality seeds/seedlings and could be merely acting on rumours in order to sabotage a government programme.
TEDDO therefore took up the responsibility to empower farmers on how to identify quality seeds and seedlings, including providing them with knowledge on the common pests and diseases especially those affecting citrus. This was equally aired out on radio through talk shows and jingles sponsored by TEDDO for the benefit of the entire sub region.
Having been empowered with knowledge on how to identify quality seeds and seedlings, the farmers started scrutinizing seedlings supplied to them by Operation Wealth Creation. In September 2017 farmers across Teso started rejecting disease infested seedlings that were being supplied by Operation Wealth Creation. It started in Kapir Sub county (Ngora district), then Labori (Serere District), Gweri and Kamuda (in Soroti district). Cases of these rejections were publicized by local radios in Soroti and one case appeared in the New Vision newspaper of 26th September 2017 under the heading; “Soroti rejects OWC seedlings."
Photo: The Resident District Commissioner Soroti District explaining to the supplier and the public why the seedlings had been rejected. This was in the presence of the Agricultural officer (displaying the infected seedlings), TEDDO Board members, farmer representatives, Operation Wealth Creation staff and TEDDO staff.
Photo: The Agricultural Officer of Soroti District giving tips to TEDDO Board members on how to further detect disease carrying seedlings. This was after communities supported by TEDDO rejected the seedlings that were affected by the greening disease in Soroti District.