Museveni speaks out on PDM

President Museveni 

What you need to know:

  • In this financial year, the government has disbursed to each parish Shs17m which local groups are to access for approved enterprise picked under one of seven pillars of the parish development model.

President Museveni has said the Parish Development Model (PDM) will take the government to the people in a more effective way and help in receiving actionable feedback from the people on wealth creation.
Mr Museveni, in a statement presented by the Ministry of Finance permanent secretary and secretary to the Treasury Ramathan Ggoobi in Mbarara City on Wednesday, said government will channel more resources towards creating wealth, jobs and incomes for Ugandans.
“Beginning with the financial year 2022/2023 the Parish Development Model (PDM) that is being piloted in Bukedi Sub-region will be fully implemented to support the 39 percent of Ugandan households still in subsistence to join the monetised economy,” the President’s statement presented at the Greater Ankole Investment Symposium held at Kakyeka Stadium, reads. 

The President made the comments a couple of days to his launch tomorrow of PDM in Kibuku District where the scheme was conceived from poor residents who told him, while on a campaign trail, that they only produce for the stomach.
It is, bureaucrats say, this type of Ugandans that PDM seeks to hook into the orbit of wealth.  
In comments about the scheme, PS Ggoobi said it was a mistake for the government to presume comfort with few rich people while majority were excluded from the money economy.
The Covid-19 pandemic, he said, illuminated this inequality which is why he has devoted his time in-charge of Finance and Treasury to focus on realigning the budget to lift subsistence households into the cash economy.
 
Such blueprints for fighting poverty are not new under President Museveni’s government. One of the earlier attempts this government made to fight widespread poverty was the Entandikwa, or a revolving cash scheme, but recipients believing the fund was for reward voting President Museveni into power, simply diverted it to non-poverty reduction uses.
Afterwards, the government rolled out Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP), Poverty Alleviation Plan (PAP), Plan for Modernisation of Agriculture (PMA), Wealth for All Programme (Bonna Bagagawale), National Agricultural Advisory Services (Naads) now subsumed under the army-led Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) as well as Emyooga Wealth Fund. 

Through these and other programmes, including self-propulsions, the number of poor Ugandans reduced from more than 50 percent when Mr Museveni captured power in 1986 to slightly above 20 percent three years ago before the number of the poor increased to constitute 39 percent of the households. 
Concerns about apparent mismanagement of previous and ongoing wealth creation schemes prompted experts at last week’s high-level policy dialogue to propose that the government first pilots PDM in a region before rolling it countrywide to insulate against possible abuse of the Shs100m planned to be given each parish from July, this year.

In this financial year, the government has disbursed to each parish Shs17m which local groups are to access for approved enterprise picked under one of seven pillars of the parish development model.
Mr Rapahael Magyezi, the minister for Local Government, on Tuesday said they have put in place strategies to ensure PDM succeeds. 
He revealed that the government has already, in September last, released Shs17m for each parish and that they intend to release another Shs100m in the next financial year starting July this year.
According to government specifications, the PDM money will be accessed by people who are in groups of 10-30 members and have selected commodities that are among those prioritised by the government.

According to information from the Ministry of Local Government, the prioritised commodities include coffee, cotton, cocoa, cassava, tea, vegetable oils (including oil palm).
Others include maize, rice, sugar cane, fish, diary, beef, bananas, beans, avocado, shea nut, cashew nuts, macadamia.
Mr Magyezi said: “At the launch [on Saturday], one of the things the President will do is to launch the SACCO and give it the money. We may not do all the parishes [right now] but we will start with those who are more ready.”
However, the President, in the preamble of PDM implementation guidelines, said the government has been able to cut the proportion of homesteads working for “only the stomach” by 29 percent.

“Through the Parish Development Model, we are going to move the 3.5 million households that are still in subsistence farming to the money economy. Using Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), we have reduced the proportion of homesteads working for only the stomach from 68 percent in 2016 to 39 percent,” he said.
The President explained in the preamble that the parish is going to be the vehicle for data gathering, area-based enterprise selection, provision of financial services, provision of basic infrastructure -particularly roads and electricity, as well as community mobilisation and mindset change.

“The parish will also be the focal point for services such as soil testing, quality farming inputs, extension services and mechanisation. The Parish Development Model will further help us deal with high post-harvest losses, bulking and marketing of agricultural produce, elimination of middlemen that have been exploiting our people by offering low commodity prices and easy access to markets at local, regional and international levels,” he said. 


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