Farmers living along East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) have been advised to standardize their products to meet international standards.
The advice was given by Mr. Ernest Rubondo, the Executive Director of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) at a Farmers Conference held recently in Hoima District.
The farmers were also advised to register their businesses on the National Supplier Database (NSD) data base in order to tap into the opportunities in the oil and gas sector.
The Conference was organized by the Petroleum Authority (PAU) in collaboration with Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) to disseminate information about on-going projects in the oil and gas disseminate information on what is required to partake in the mentioned opportunities to enable business enterprises and individuals make the necessary preparations.
The Conference was attended by 500 farmers in the EACOP districts of Hoima, Kikuube, Kyankwanzi, Kakumiro and Mubende. With an expected influx of about one million people to the Albertine Graben region in the Development and Production stage and the attendant development in infrastructure, there is a projected demand for agricultural products which farmers must position themselves to benefit from.
Mr. Tom Ayebare Rukundo the Manager Economic and Financial Analysis urged farmers to form joint ventures to be able to meet the required quality and quantities and to take the advantage of such engagements to meet new stakeholders.
Mr. Carlos Sselwadda the Regional Manager Stanbic Bank also encouraged famers to make use of Stanbic bank’s business incubator program which supports farmers with technical knowledge and contract management, training and financial support.
M/s. Bayiga Fionah the Director, Business Registration Uganda Registration Service Bureau urged all farmers to formalize their business to ready for all the opportunities like financial services, and better business reputation.
Mr. Cyrus Kayumba the Domestic Taxes Officer at Uganda Revenue Authority’s urged people to comply with taxes because Oil Companies will not work with non-tax complaints to supply since they are international and to obtain required standards and certificates that the industry requires.
Mr. Abdu Mugisha Agriculture Office at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries urged farmers to strengthen existing agriculture production and commercial practices and enhance the supply chain of agricultural goods and services to the oil and gas development interventions and the developing market opportunities in the region and beyond.
The Oil and Gas sector in Uganda is transitioning from exploration to development and production, with a projected 20 billion US Dollar investment, it is therefore important for different sector players to position well to benefit from the projects. Petroleum Authority of Uganda and other Stakeholders committed to continue sensitizing people with all the necessary information about each sector project.