March 4, 2024

Low power voltage stifles Agro processing in Otuke

MacDonald Ojok on his maize huller
Photo by Chris Kobel

By Denish Ongora (denish.ongora@vol.co.ug)

Otuke

Efforts by farmers in rural areas in Otuke district to support value addition to their products is being stifled by low power voltage.

Some people dealing in value addition of maize, rice among others have complained that the power connected to their areas under Rural Electrification project is unable to effectively run the machines.

Ojok MacDonald who received the value addition machines with support from Sasakawa Africa Association said he has failed to operate them since the transformer installed under Rural electrification Agency-REA has low voltage to effectively run the maize Sheller, rice huller and maize mill.

Ojok who doubles as chairperson of Otuke Town Council Farmers SACCO said they were trained by Sasakawa Africa Association on commercial farming and value addition but their production capacity has been affected by low power voltage and they have been forced to resort to use of fuel to run the machines.

He has asked REA to install another transformer with capacity to run the machines to support development in the district.

The chairperson Aber Commercial Farmers Cooperative Ltd in Oyam district, Hassan Ocen said that much as they have a warehouse constructed by government worth 150 million shillings they cannot operate well since the power connected to run their equipment is single phase, instead of the required three phase.

Ocen said under Agriculture Cluster Development project, supported by Sasakawa Africa Association and Development Initiative for Northern Uganda –DINU they have been supported to boost Upland rice production but they are failing to add value to their products.

The spokesperson of energy and mineral development Solomon Muyita asked the farmers to write to REA and UMEME as well as ministry of energy for redress.