Oyella said she has already benefited from this tractor initiative, applauded Mapendizi, saying her garden was tilled for free.

By Christopher Nyeko

GULU: The Gulu West Member of Parliament, Martine Ojara Mapenduzi, through his foundation, Mapenduzi Foundation, has donated two hand tractors to smallholder farmers in the two wards of Alokolum and Kweyo in Bardege-Layibi Division.

Mapenduzi says the tractor initiative is to empower the smallholder farmers in his constituency to enhance food production to end food insecurity in their families and in Gulu City as well.

He disclosed that he opted to donate tractors to five wards in his constituency because they still have adequate land for agricultural practices, especially horticulture.

Mapenduzi noted that the tractor initiative targeted five wards, and two have already received their tractors, while three other wards, Oitino, Paminano, and Abuga B, will have received their tractors, which are already secured.

The tractors were secured from the ministry of agriculture’s department of agricultural mechanization.

According to Mapenduzi, each selected ward will receive a total of three tractors.

Geoffrey Ayella Jiji, the project coordinator at Mapenduzi Foundation, says the tractor will be hired by interested farmers in the area at a very subsidized cost.

He discloses that the tractor will be hired at a cost of 60,000 shillings, explaining that a total of 15,000 shillings will be paid to the facility tractor operator, 25,000 for fuel per acre, and 15,000 will be remitted to the Mapeduzi Foundation. The money, he says, will be used for the maintenance of tractors.

Irish Oyella, a PWD resident of Kati-Kati cell in Alokoalum ward who has already benefited from this tractor initiative, applauded Mapendizi, saying her garden was tilled for free.

Job Watmon, a farmer, says that tractor services are going to boost their production. He noticed that they were hiring other tractors from private companies at very high costs, ranging from 90,000 to 100,000, while animal traction goes for 90,000 per acre.

Alice Otoo, a resident of Kweyo ward, says she has been struggling with hand hoes to till his garden because of the expensive cost of hiring tractors.

She is hopeful that with Mapenduzi’s intuitiveness, she will be able to hire this hand tractor to open her garden to plant groundnuts.

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