Yumbe locals benefit from communal farming

Palawu farmers' group members planting Cassava in Odravu in Yumbe District on May 23, 2023. PHOTO/BARBRA ANYAIT

Communal farming in Yumbe District is changing lives of locals in addition to ensuring food security for both the host communities and the refugee population.

Local authorities say “this has been possible by putting into use the land they acquired with support from a five year ‘Right to Grow’ project implemented by an NGO, Action Against Hunger Uganda with funding from the Dutch government.

The project is being implemented in two sub counties of Odravu and Kululu where malnutrition cases were highly registered in Yumbe District, according to the recent reports by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS).

Four farmer groups visited by this reporter in the said sub-counties have ventured into cassava, maize, beans and soya beans donated by the project, with aims of addressing child malnutrition and ensuring food security as well as household income.

Robert Anguliga, the chairman of Palawu farmers group in Odravu Sub County says, the program has helped them to alleviate hunger in their community.

"With the 20 acres, the group is expecting to earn minimum of Shs20 million from cassava harvests alone,” he added.

Meanwhile, Jamal Wajarasu and Noor Drasi, landlords in Chunia and Arindwe villages in Kululu and Ordravo sub-counties respectively admitted that they gave land for this project with to improve food supply in Yumbe communities, including refugees who can buy food locally.

The two have cumulatively donated about 30 acres of land and are willing to contribute more for sustainability of food security.

"I donated my 10 acres of land for farming because l don't want hunger in Chunia," the pair jointly said.

Mariam Akiror who doubles as the program manager of the Right to Grow project as well as the advocacy and strategic partnerships coordinator at Action Against Hunger said: "Under the Right to Grow project in Action Against Hunger, we are running an advocacy Campaign on Communal production, consumption and marketing of nutrition food crops for improved health, nutrition resilience and self-reliance."

"We are promoting nutrient dense food crops, orange fresh sweet potatoes, iron rich beans, soya, vitamin A orange maize and other nutritious staple crops like groundnuts," she further explained.

She stressed that this is being done jointly with local authorities who mobilize, monitor and supervise farmer groups.

Leaders of Odravu and Kululu sub counties lauded the four farmer groups for embracing the communal farming initiative and have called upon the Dutch government to extend the project after its expiry in 2025.

However, crop production in the area remains challenged by climate change in addition to pests and diseases.

About the project

Right To Grow is a five-year project that started in 2021 in 10 refugee hosting districts in Uganda.

Action Against Hunger implements the project in three districts of Yumbe, Adjumani and Kikuube.


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