The eagerly-anticipated oil palm project in Buvuma Islands is edging closer to fruition following the completion of the nursery phase.
About 400,000 seedlings have so far been planted on 40 hectares. The phase has also created employment for 156 workers, who are working on the nursery as well as land clearance in preparation for transferring the seedlings to the farm.
The oil project is a component of the Vegetable Oil Development Project (VODP) and is implemented by Oil Palm Uganda Ltd (OPUL), a subsidiary of Bidco Uganda.
What is now left for the project to blossom is the land acquisition process, a tedious and complex process that continues to stem the progress.
About 5,500 hectares were procured for the project, where land is acquired on the basis of a willing buyer and willing seller. In other words, both landlords and tenants have a right to make an informed decision on whether to sell or not to sell his land or kibanja.
At least Shs 76 billion has so far have been spent on purchasing land and compensation of the affected persons.
At the moment, there is ongoing compensation of tenants, with more than 7,400 clear so far while those who have not received their money are free to use their Bibanja until they receive the compensation.
The delays in compensation are due to absence of land titles, while in some cases landlords have not yet signed sales agreements.