Farmers in the albertine graben region where Uganda found significant amount of tradable oil and gas must prepare themselves by reading the laws and regulations on local content to fully understand how they can participate.
The wise counsel was voiced by Jessica Kyeyune, the national content supervisor at CNOOC Uganda Limited, speaking during the training of suppliers and farmers on the oil and gas opportunities held at Kijungu Hill Hotel in Hoima town.
Kyeyune said sector laws and regulations ring-fenced certain areas of business for Ugandans. She explained that these are opportunities for Ugandans to participate in business during the building of the oil pipeline, refinery, and construction of oil fields. She however urged Ugandans to.
The chairperson LCV Hoima Kirungi Kadiri challenged Oil companies to always prepare farmers in groups to form cooperatives and be registered in the national suppliers’ database for them to compete with others. He says having cooperatives is the way to go for farmers to benefit from their yields since they will always have ready markets for their produce.
The Hoima Resident District Commissioner Samuel Kisembo Araali encouraged farmers to start by forming and registering groups as well as add value to their produce so as to meet the set market.
But, Fatuma Kirungi Mugisha, who rears goats in Kalyabuhire, Hoima town says although they have been sensitized, it might take them time to meet the required standards due to a number of reasons.
Another farmer, Penina Ruhindi the chairperson Kigaaga Oil Refinery Community Women’s Association raised fear over the high quality set by government saying many rural farmers may fail to benefit from the sector.
Activities in the industry are now moving from exploration phase to the production phase. The first oil barrel is expected out of the ground in 2021.
The opportunities include food supplies, supplying materials such as cement, steel, providing security services, employment opportunities and consulting. Others are training, ICT, administration, transport and logistics among others.
Gerald Kazooba the field manager of Equator Catering Limited one of the companies which does all the work of catering services in the oil companies appreciated Bunyoro farmers and promised to continue working together as far supplying their products to them and the oil companies.