“The wealth of Kalangala now stands on oil palm. We can add cattle for milk and poultry for eggs. I encourage you to add cattle and poultry farming to oil palm. The manure from the animals would be used as fertilizers on your plantations. You will get fertilizers and then milk and eggs which you will in turn sell to make more money,” the President emphasized.
President Museveni made the remarks today during his investment and wealth creation tour in Kalangala District.
The President also expressed gratitude towards the people of Kalangala for embracing his wealth creation gospel and that he was able to testify to it following his earlier visits to two area residents who have been able to transform their lives through growing oil palm.
“In 1995, I traversed around Uganda preaching about wealth creation. Some areas picked our message. Like Masaka, they are so into coffee, in the cattle corridor they are into milk. I’m so happy that over 60 percent of the families in Masaka have coffee plantations which they preserve so well. When I came to Kalangala I was also happy to see that you also embraced our wealth creation gospel,” H. E Museveni asserted.
“Earlier I visited Tabitha, who has 4 acres of oil palm and gets Shs500,000 per acre in a month. She makes Shs28m per year in the 4 acres. She even built a nice house for herself. I also visited Ssesanga who is also an oil palm grower with 12 acres. He makes Shs7m per acre and makes over Shs90 million per year. He is also a cattle farmer,” he added.
The President also advised the people of Kalangala and Uganda at large to embrace growing more oil palm so as to enable the country to get more than enough required oil palm products like soap and cooking oil for use.
“I am so happy that oil palm has worked well. Bujumba are doing well but those in Kyamuswa are not yet there. Kyamuswa, why did you lag behind? If the people of Kyamuswa got involved at the start, we would be very far. We still import over 70 percent of oil palm products from Malaysia and Indonesia. We have been at war to get land for oil palm growing but thank God that the people of Kyamuswa have also woken up,” he stressed.
During an interaction, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Hon. Fred Bwino Kyakulaga told the President that Uganda needs 100,000 hectares of oil palm to get the required 410,000 metric tonnes of oil products.
“With such metric tons we shall also be able to even sell the products outside the country,” Hon. Kyakulaga said.
On the issue surrounding the fishing sector in Kalangala, the President revealed that he was going to work with the elders in Ssese Islands to ensure that the sector is reorganized.
“Why don’t you get the elders of Ssese and organize the fishing sector here? It needs people who control and regulate the activities on the lake,” the President said.
“This is like a mine that doesn’t have rules and regulations. There must be control. We should own this. Like in the cattle corridor, the elders control the area, no one comes from outside and disorganize our activities. We should not allow outsiders to destroy our thing, we should organize the fishing ground. You cannot go to the mine without a license that is not being responsible. I have given you two months, I shall come back,” he added.
On the issue of high prices of fertilizers, President Museveni explained that such prices were induced by the Ukraine and Russian War but assured farmers that the government was working around the clock to “have our own fertilizer making company in Tororo that shall produce cheap fertilizers”.
He also promised to set up a Referral Hospital and boost the tourism sector in the district through improving infrastructure like electricity and transport in the area which currently has a population of 92,000.
At the same event, President Museveni handed over a dummy cheque of Shs50 billion dividends (from oil palm project) to the leadership of Kalangala meant for social services in the district.
However, he said such money should not be used for social services, rather it should be invested in the farmers’ SACCO which in turn can be used to sustain their agricultural activities.
“If we bought for you interests in a company, you should invest that money in your SACCO for development purposes. Social services like roads are supposed to be worked upon by the government, not you as individuals,” H. E Museveni noted.
According to the Chairperson LC.5 of Kalangala Rajab Ssemakula, Oil Palm growing is now one of the main economic activities in Kalangala and out of the 53.1 billion shillings the Government injected in as a loan to oil palm farmers, they have repaid Sh52.68BN to the consolidated fund and the Project has pushed people to the middle-income status whereby on average an out grower earns Shs1.6 million from oil palm monthly.
“Your Excellency our kind request is that the 10% simple interest on 53.1BN be waived and left with Kalangala Oil Palm Growers Trust (KOPGT) for its suitability. We appreciate and report that there is a positive impact of the Oil Palm project in Kalangala,” Mr. Rajab Ssemakula said.
He thanked President Museveni for being a visionary leader who works towards uplifting the Livelihoods of his people through several developmental initiatives such as Parish Development Model, Emyooga, Oil Palm Project and Youth Livelihood Program.
“We also thank you for easing transportation on the 84 Islands that make up Kalangala district through providing free ferry services,” he added.
The event was also attended by Ministers, Kalangala district leaders, NRM leaders among others.