More than 2000 workers at the Tropical Institute of Development Innovations-TRIDI have abandoned the institute over delayed payment.
TRIDI together with the government is implementing the commercialization of the Sericulture Technologies and Innovations Project which aims at boosting the production of silk through rearing silkworms for industrial processing.
The technical staff who include researchers, factory operators, extension, and casual laborers have abandoned work in the districts of Sheema, Iganga, Mukono, Busitema, Buikwe, Kween, and Nwoya.
The Executive Director of the Institute who also doubles as the Project Chief Investigator, Clet Wandui Masiga says that the majority of workers abandoned the different sites to look for survival.
Masiga says that the Minister for Science, Technology, and Innovation withheld the 43 Billion Shillings that had been allocated to TRIDI for the financial year 2022/2023 for clear reasons, which affected several activities.
According to Masiga, it is now difficult for the project to maintain mulberry plantation gardens that feed silkworms and train more required staff for the two factories in Kween and Sheema District.
Our efforts to talk to the Minister for Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Monica Musenero were futile. But Lydia Namuleni, the Minister’s Personal Assistant said that the minister will comment on the matter on Wednesday.
The government started funding silk production in 2018. About 2,230 acres of mulberry have been established across the country and three factories established in Mukono, Kween, and Sheema districts.
If the project is properly managed, Masiga says at a gross investment of about 800 Billion Shillings, Uganda would wait for only five years to begin reaping over 2.8 trillion Shillings annually of which Shillings 1.7 Trillion would be retained by out-grower farmers.
The government is expected to earn 500 Billion Shillings in taxes annually.