Nakasongola Food Security and Rights Fulfillment Project
2005 – 08 NAKASONGOLA DISTRICT, CENTRAL UGANDA Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 140 households in 7 groups
This project has benefited farmer group members in the rural communities of two sub counties in Nakasongola District. The project became operational in 2005, since which time KULIKA Uganda has trained farmers in Sustainable Organic Agriculture (SOA) and continued to support them with farm grants until 2009. The farmers have become skilled in the principles and practices of SOA, as is evident on their farms. After the completion of the 3 year project, KULIKA Uganda received joint support from Rotary International and Ugandan Clubs for at least 18 months to continue the work via the implementation of microcredit, water and rural small industry projects as indicated below:
PROJECT GOALS: This project benefits farmer group members in the rural communities of two sub-counties in Nakasongola District. The project empowers smallholder farmers with the knowledge and skills to achieve food security and to realize their own development. Rights are addressed by providing much-needed sensitization for the local community on risks and vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. Through the project, local communities receive voluntary HIV counselling and testing, providing anti retroviral drugs to infected farmers. 262 farmers have so far benefitted from these services.
Support from Rotary International: Community Microcredit Fund With the support of Rotary International, the project is continuing to supporting the farmers’ microcredit fund in order that they can grow their small businesses, including trading activities, and earn more farm income. Each group received 2 million Uganda shillings which was lent to group members to establish small scale enterprises and to be paid back at an interest rate of 1% interest. All 7 groups involved in the project have accessed the fund and lent to their members. Paying back of the loan is in progress.
Water Project The farmers have received water tanks to collect rainwater. They are extremely grateful for this support, as it has enabled them access clean drinking water within close proximity. This means that time previously spent walking long distances to collect drinking water can be used for more useful and profitable household activities. This benefit has important safety implications for girls, and children in general, who traditionally spend long hours queuing for water at the few available bore holes within the villages during late or early hours of the day, something which puts them in personal danger. Nakazibwe from the Basokakwavula Farmers’ Group pointed out, “Children join bad peer groups at the water points and indulge into sexual relationships. The parents of the girl child lose out because in most cases the boy responsible for the pregnancy continues with school while the girl drops out.” Such instances lead to problems of early marriages and the increased spread of HIV/AIDS in the area.
Rural Small Industry The main purpose of this project has been to enable farmers to access development grants through the provision of training inputs and small grants to group members. The aim has been to enhance rural family employment, income and economic viability by developing skill sets for self-sufficiency. Examples of skill sets developed are sewing, brick-laying, carpentry, specialty horticulture etc. Since this has been a practically-based training program, group members have been provided with inputs for their own farm practice as well. These include sewing machines, food processing and mushroom growing equipment. The maintenance of such equipment is the responsibility of each of the rural entrepreneurs. The role of KULIKA Uganda has been to provide appropriate guidance to the rural entrepreneurs.
Support from the McKnight Foundation:
Food Security and Livelihood Improvement Project Number of beneficiaries: 45 farmers
This is a new intervention sponsored by the McKnight Foundation and KULIKA Uganda with the aim of further developing farmers’ capacities in SOA. The activities are planned with a new set of farmers who for a long time have wished to join the project. The program intends to support rural women farmers and their families to improve on food security, nutrition and household incomes by increasing their farm yields through the use of good sustainable farming practices and the formation of legal marketing associations, as well as the establishment of group capital enterprises and group-based microcredit.
Duration This project is in its initial stages and will run for 2 years until 2012.