Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) Progress Paper
Presented by Maj. Gen. JF Oketta, Deputy Chief Coordinator Operation Wealth Creation (OWC)
OWC was launched in July 2013 by H.E. the President as an intervention intended to create a system that facilitates effective National Socio-economic transformation with a focus on raising household incomes for poverty eradication and sustainable wealth creation.
For a long time, H.E. the President has been telling leaders at all levels to mobilize the
peasants, to start engaging in commercial agriculture 68% of whom are in subsistence production (the “nkolera lubuto” class).
H.E took a decision to tackle this challenge by involving the military under a program codenamed ‘Operation Wealth Creation’. The program was piloted among veterans in operational zones which supported military/political liberation struggles of NRM, from 1970s to mid-1980s. That
included 25 districts.
- Provision of planting and breeding materials;
- Agricultural mechanization;
- Provision of low cost housing;
- Provision of water;
- Pension and gratuity for civilian veterans and former national forces;
- Provision of microfinance services;
- Overseeing the systematic improvement of infrastructure in the sectors of education, health, energy, communication and other services; and value addition.
During this pilot phase IN 2013, the OWC performed very well. For example giving inputs to the 50,000 veteran families.
Subsequent evaluation and research by OPM, MUK and MUBS respectively indicated that the inputs were reaching the target beneficiaries. Research also found that there was a marked improvement in the level of annual crop output during 2013/14.
Owing to success of the pilot, on 9th June 2014, H.E. the President directed that starting March – June 2015 season, OWC program should be expanded to cover the entire country.
Consequently, more UPDF officers were deployed in every constituency across the country to coordinate the execution of the President’s directive. As of July 28, 2016 there were a total of 24 officers at the OWC headquarters, 18 regional/zonal coordinators, 112 district coordinators and 141 constituency coordinators.
We have also deployed 27 liaison officers in various MDAs that play important roles in support of agricultural production chains. We are planning to expand district coordinators to 116 owing to the creation of four new districts.
OPERATIONS OF THE OWC
In February 2015, H.E. the President issued standing Orders of Procedure (SOPs) for OWC MAAIF, 2015.
To define the responsibilities of stakeholders, spell out implementation and M&E arrangements for OWC. The SOPs define the roles of the various stakeholders.
- Established an effective command, control, coordination, and communication (4C), with all the agencies in the implementation of H.E the Presidents’ directives.
- OWC has created a debate in the agricultural sector. The arguments are constructive and better results are expected in the near future.
- Identified the existing gaps in the sector which will help to provide targeted interventions.
- Connected the government to the people. Millions of Ugandans have responded to the Operation and are eager to participate.
- Mobilized other stakeholders in the agricultural sector and coordination of various
MDAs (through the UDF).
- Coordination of Uganda Agriculture Development partners, creating
linkages between communities and the Private Sector along the Agricultural Value Chain.
REASONS FOR VARIANCE
- Poor quality seedlings (nursery, transportation, lags in handling- some did not plant seedlings given)
- Air supply
- Inadequate extension services ( this has led to inadequate preparation of farmers)
- Mindset (Farmer level, Local Government, Ministries and Private sector)
- Failure of farmers to consider agriculture as a business
- Untimely deliveries of inputs
- Pests and diseases
- Lack and or limited use of fertilizer
- Weather vagaries
- Improve on nursery and farmer registrations
- Registration and certification of nursery operators
- Establishment of the tissue culture laboratories’ for provision of clean, improved and resistant coffee varieties
- Involve input dealers in the provision of extension services
- Undertake a focused and targeted R&D of varieties that are disease, drought and water resistant.
- Implement input quality control and certification
- Coffee survivability verification exercise
OVERALL CHALLENGES IDENTIFIED
- Coordination gaps among stakeholders across the sector
- Quality issues for both planting and breeding inputs and outputs. assessment
- Cases of elite capture of the program
- Post-harvest losses. Recent studies found that on top of very low productivity, the farmers are losing nearly half of the little they harvest. This is an area which requires urgent attention.
- Weak infrastructure: roads, power, water for production and storage facilities
- Funding and Financing Mechanisms -to meet the ever growing demand for agricultural inputs among farmers
- Land wrangles
- Misalignment of structures, functions and staffing incentives
- Standards and marketing
- As guided by H.E. the President, we will consolidate the gains of the last three years, but focus the operation on the 68% of the population which is out of the money economy.
- The president directed that owe focuses on the 3 strategic crops in the next 2 financial years.
- These are: Coffee, Tea & Fruits (mangoes, oranges & pineapples).
- OWC will remain linked to the core MDAs in order to consolidate this strategic directive.
- MoWE to address the issue of water for production
- MTICs for standards and market access
- MoLUD to address all the land issues
- REA to power the processing & value addition.
- MI&CT to develop MIS to support farmer group
- Formation processes, establish a central registry using ICT, to support M&E