ADJUMANI. Self Help Africa (SHA), a nongovernmental organization in partnership with Harvest Plus is implementing the sustainable livelihoods and inclusive markets program in Adjumani district.
The program that targets more than 1000 farmers both refugees and host communities covers the areas of Lewa and Melijo parishes, Ayilo1 and Ayilo 2 refugee settlements in Pakele sub-county, Odu and Itirikwa parishes, Mungula 1 and Mungula 2 settlements in Itirikwa sub-county.
According to Mr John Francis, the project manager SHA in Adjumani, the sustainable livelihoods and inclusive markets project took off well from the time of its inception in 2018 with preparatory activities like selection of areas of operations, inception meetings and foundation processes like staff recruitment, procurement of major assets and eventually shaped up fully at the beginning of 2019.
He stated that the three-year project worth UGX1.5billion is supported by Harvest Plus which provides access to seeds of bio-fortified crops and link farmers to available markets for their products.
Francis further explained that the sustainable livelihoods and inclusive markets for refugees project aims at improving food, nutrition and income security of refugees and host communities in Adjumani as well as creating a pathway to self-sustainability through the development of resilient livelihoods.
He said this addresses the consumption gaps of refugees by supporting them to produce nutritious crops such as beans and fruits like oranges, fresh sweet potato, and vegetables.
Mr Anthony Mugenyi, the district production officer Adjumani said as the project aims at value addition, there is a need to think about industrialization and agro-processing that calls for increased production.
Dr Mugenyi expressed disappointment over the poor attitude of farmers who do not make use of the available rains.
He said this has left a lot of gaps, a reason crops like tomato, cabbage, and beans are being brought all the way from Hoima and Mbale districts but not within.
He appealed to extension workers to teach farmers to substitute the importation of crops by their own production.
Mr Swaib Olema, the community development officer Itirikwa sub-county, one of the benefiting sub-counties noted that there is need to have a sustainability strategy such that when SHA winds up its program, the farmers can be able to continue on their own.
The Adjumani resident district commissioner (RDC) Mr Peter Taban Dada in his keynote address challenged the stakeholders to ask themselves on what they are doing to supplement on what the government has been doing.
The RDC maintained that the government is interested in getting people out of poverty but the locals are not serious on their side.