Post Bank Uganda trains more than 100 farmers on loan management in Acholi Sub Region

GULU – More than 100 farmers from various farmer groups and cooperatives in Acholi sub-region have been trained on loan management skills by Post Bank Uganda.

The one-day training held at Boma Hotel in Gulu city, was aimed at boosting agricultural productivity and a savings culture among farmers.

Jimmy Ocen, the Manager in charge of lending at Post Bank Uganda, while addressing the farmers said, most farmers who borrow loans for farming instead divert the money to other things like buying land and building houses among others.

“Most times people get a loan and divert its purpose. We are trying to show them that you can actually get a loan and pay it back comfortably if you put it in the right purpose, if you choose a profitable enterprise.”

He said on several occasions, when they carry out monitoring visits of farmers who have borrowed loans to engage in farming, they find no activity on the ground.

The farmers were also encouraged to embrace insurance for their crops against natural disasters like floods, drought and hailstorms.

“Agricultural insurance is very cheap at only 5%. The government even subsidizes it by paying 2.5%.

Simon Opiyo, the Chairperson Paicho Central Kal Growers Cooperative acknowledged that farmers indeed divert loan money to other projects hence leading to their failure.

He however said, that the training was timely and would help farmers increase their production.

Santa Abwot, a farmer from Amuru district said that they did not know about Agricultural insurance yet they have been suffering losses due to floods and drought.

In Gulu district alone, food crops worth Shs 2.6 billion was lost in hailstorms in three sub-counties of Bungatira, Awach and Pukony in the month of July 2021, according to a report from the district.

It’s estimated that 2, 215 acres of crops like maize, beans, cassava, millet, soy bean, ground nuts, potatoes, bananas and tree seedlings were destroyed in hailstorms.

In a request to the Office of the Prime Minister in charge of Emergency Assistance, Gulu Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Okaka Geoffrey stated that the crops would have yielded 2,745 tones if the hailstorms had not destroyed them.

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