Uganda: West Nile Farmers Receive $300,000 From Dutch Govt to Boost Production

Ten farmer groups have received $300,000 as a grant from the Netherlands government to boost their farming, production and related businesses in order to fight poverty in their households.

The farmers, who are engaged in commercial business, are expected to utilize the grant to employ more youths into the agricultural sector, make profit and carry out value addition to cassava and sim-sim production.

One of the beneficiaries, Ms Caroline Ocanda, who does Apiary farming and honey business, said over the weekend that: “The grant is a boost for them to ensure that there is value addition to the honey in order to avoid cases of adulteration. Our customers deserve better products in order to grow the market.”

The Managing Director of Ag Ploutos Company, where the money has been channelled, Ms Adinike Anyang, said: “We need to improve production in terms of quality and quantity of the sim-sim and cassava that is produced in this region. These two crops have enormous benefits both in pharmaceutical and Breweries industries.”

She added: “We are here to create wealth through agriculture in Arua, Terego and Madi-Okollo. We have already identified banks that are willing to partner with us and link the farmers to more soft loans with low interest rates.”

The farmer groups include Baga Commodities Limited, Yield Harvest, Equator Seeds Uganda Limited, Grain Trade Development Services Limited, New Beginning Investment Limited, Palm Business Consults and Agric Supplies Limited, Rural Society for Development Agency, Multipurpose Farm Network and Kawacom Uganda Limited.

The farmer groups have been encouraged to grow the high yielding new variety of Sim-sim E107 and Sweet cassava like Narocas1.

Change of mind-set

Cassava and sim-sim is a staple food in the sub-region, but most people grow them for subsistence farming.

Several organisations and government agencies are trying hard to change the mind-set of farmers to grow the crops for commercial purpose.

Ms Gloria Driwaru of Green Trade farmer group that also received the funding, said: “Tthis grant will help us reach more farmers to change the mind-set of those still locked in subsistence farming.”

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Chief Technical Advisor, Mr Stephen Opio, said: “When we promote the new seed varieties we shall be able to create demand driven products in the available markets.”

Cautioning against misuse of the grants, Mr Opio warned stating: “You should use this money appropriately. If you fail, you will block opportunities for others because we will not come back and give more money.”

The Netherlands Ambassador to Uganda, Ms Karin Boven expressed her optimism in the project execution.

“We are hopeful that these farmers will use the grants well to promote commercial production where they can be able to earn money, improve the production that meets demand in the market and fight poverty at household level,” she said.

Each of the 10 farmer groups received $30,000.


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Author : Monitor

Publish date : 2021-10-04 17:01:15

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