The Chief Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), General Caleb Akandwanaho (Rtd) alias Salim Saleh has refocused the operation on logistics hubs and e-voucher system to make it more effective.
The UPDF operation which was launched by President Museveni in 2013 has been delivering agricultural inputs and coordinating government agencies, the private sector, financial institutions, farmer groups, civil society and development partners toward a more comprehensive approach to agriculture.
The operation’s objective is to eradicate poverty by growing household incomes through agriculture.
Gen Saleh who was speaking at a meeting with Bunyoro Community Development Strategic Leaders at Namunkekera Industrial Centre in Kapeeka, said that although OWC has registered some success in enabling subsistence farmers to access agricultural inputs, and distributed a number of value addition equipment, it faces operational and policy challenges.
Some of the challenges Gen Saleh cited include late delivery of inputs, low quality of inputs, delivery to wrong agro-ecological zones, land degradation and fragmentation, weak farmer groups, and inflation which is greatly affecting the price of inputs.
He revealed the refocus of OWC toward implementation of the regional logistics hub and the e-voucher card system to increase efficiency and rid the operation of challenges.
Under the e-voucher system, allocations to farmers are made through an online system, and use of tokens to pick farm inputs from logistical hubs or approved suppliers within their regions.
The General says that the system will control price fluctuation, minimize delivery of low quality inputs, eliminate air supply and ensure inputs get to the intended beneficiaries.
Saleh also wants OWC to rid the operation of the massive administrative structure of Directors based at the headquarters and adopt a new structure that is responsive to the needs and tasks of its second phase which is focusing more on market linkages of farm produce and products.
In the recommended administrative structure, enterprise and industrial unit coordinators will be deployed at every regional hub and will coordinate activities of e-voucher card system.
Operation Wealth Creation has also deployed liaison officers across 25 government agencies.
Gen Saleh leads the strategic aspects of OWC while his deputy, Gen Charles Angina is responsible for administrative and operational aspects.