PAKWACH: A group of youths practicing community agriculture in Panyimur sub county, Pakwach district have expressed concern over shortage of land for expansion.
The over 40 member youths under the umbrella association of ‘Activistas’ from villages of Kayonga in Dei and Afoda are growing vegetables in a squeezed half an acre piece of land voluntarily donated by each group member in their respective villages.
According to Mr Justine Omirambe, the group chairperson, they have resorted to fragmented pieces of land to meet the overwhelming demand for their vegetables.
He said the unwillingness of the community to offer land for sustainable agriculture is likely to affect the group’s intention of enhancing food security.
"We are experiencing land fragmentation issue, we can hardly produce ten basins of tomatoes and onions due to limited land, I'm therefore calling upon well-wishers to come to our rescue and give us land," Omirambe appealed.
He continued: "The community in the villages is reluctant to offer free land, we have tried to engage them but all our efforts have been futile yet we are financially constrained".
The group wants the support of the government through advocacy to the community about the relevance of offering idle land for such profitable projects.
The group has distributed over 1000 tree seedlings to flood affected communities in the greater Panyimur to mitigate the impact of climate change through smart agriculture and exhibiting demonstration farms in schools and other small farming community groups.
Mr Desmond Mujuni, a group member in Afoda village also echoed the urgent need for land acquisition in order to realize the sustainability of the project.
"Farming is the backbone to our economy due to its various benefits to the locals and the government. We want everyone to embrace it for now, our fear is that this project may collapse if no faster attention is given", Mujuni said.
In Kayonga village, Dei sub county, Ms Margaret Ajok, a beneficiary of tree seedlings said she has nowhere to plant her eucalyptus tree seedlings because of the small and fragmented pieces of land.
She urged the community to have a positive attitude towards land and not to look at it as the only source of wealth to be sold whenever they run broke but consider embracing it as a main factor of production through agriculture.
However, Ms Matilda Natukunda, the Action Aid program officer for Nebbi cluster said the skills equipped to the Activistas group is in line with their core duty of empowering the vulnerable people.