KAMPALA – The Executive Director of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) has challenged farmers living along East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) to standardize their products to meet international standards.
Mr Ernest Rubondo urged farmers to continuously improve the quality and quantity of their crops to boost the demands of the international markets for better income.
Mr Rubondo while addressing farmers at a Farmers Conference held recently in Hoima District further urged the farmers to register their businesses on the National Supplier Database (NSD) database in order to tap into the opportunities in the oil and gas sector.
“I want to urge you farmers who are living along the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) to ensure you improve the standards of your produce to meet the international standards. There is need to get to improved methods of farming for better produce,” said Mr Rubondo.
The conference was organised to instil confidence among farmers and educate them on the improved methods of farming to help them improve their standards of living.
The Conference was organized by the Petroleum Authority (PAU) in collaboration with Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) to disseminate information about on-going projects in the oil and gas disseminate information on what is required to partake in the mentioned opportunities to enable business enterprises and individuals make the necessary preparations.
Mr. Tom Ayebare, the Manager Economic and Financial Analysis tasked farmers to form joint ventures to be able to meet the required quality and quantities and to take advantage of such engagements to meet new stakeholders.
Mr. Carlos Sserwadda, the Regional Manager Stanbic Bank also encouraged farmers to make use of Stanbic bank’s business incubator program which supports farmers with technical knowledge and contract management, training and financial support.
He explained that the incubator project equips farmers with the necessary skills, knowledge, networking opportunities and understanding to be able to participate in the oil and gas sector and to run their businesses in a sustainable and profitable way.
M/s. Fiona Bayiga, the Director, Business Registration Uganda Registration Service Bureau urged all farmers to formalize their business to ready for all the opportunities like financial services and better business reputation.
Mr. Abdu Mugisha Agriculture Office at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries urged farmers to strengthen existing agriculture production and commercial practices and enhance the supply chain of agricultural goods and services to the oil and gas development interventions and the developing market opportunities in the region and beyond.
The Conference was attended by 500 farmers in the EACOP districts of Hoima, Kikuube, Kyankwanzi, Kakumiro and Mubende.With an expected influx of about one million people to the Albertine Graben region in the Development and Production stage and the attendant development in infrastructure, there is a projected demand for agricultural products which farmers must position themselves to benefit from.
The Oil and Gas sector in Uganda is transitioning from exploration to development and production, with a projected 20 billion US Dollar investment, it is therefore important for different sector players to position well to benefit from the projects. Petroleum Authority of Uganda and other Stakeholders committed to continuing sensitizing people with all the necessary information about each sector project.