Government’s implementation of the Parish Development Model (PDM) in order to turn around service delivery and alleviate poverty from its core is a huge step towards achieving the much desired middle income status.
However, the implementation needs to be recognisSed and welcomed by the general public for it to register success unlike the previous interventions such as entandikwa and youth livelihood programme that were largely misused.
With the various development programmes, there was evident inadequate sensitisation of the beneficiaries.
On January 30, 2020, Parliament approved the National Development Plan III for 2020/2021 to 2024/2025 to expand household incomes and improve the quality of life for Ugandans through sustainable industrialisation.
Shortly before the Financial Year 2021/2022 budget allocation, government announced the launch of PDM.
Under this programme, development activities are planned for and executed in parishes, as the lowest level unit for planning and development.
Additionally, the model is based on seven pillars that include; production, infrastructure and economic services, financial inclusion and social services. The others are community data (Community Information System), governance and administration, and mindset change.
Money borrowed under the parish will be returned with a 1 percent interest.
The Ministry Of Finance Planning and Economic Development estimates that there are nearly 8,450,000 households in more than 10,694 parishes. Of these, 2,042,000 reportedly depended on subsistence farming and 78 ,400 fall under the non working class. Earlier, the ministry had indicated that Shs30 million would be given to each of the 10,694 parishes for the revolving fund but Parliament reduced this budget by half.
Considering that many women countrywide are largely involved in farm work, the model is among the many ways of uplifting women.
Also the fact that government is putting more emphasis on 18 commodities such as coffee ,macadamia nuts, cashew nuts, cocoa, beef, cotton, fish, tea, beans, sugarcane, avocado, bananas, shea nuts, dairy, and maize means it will contribute to realisation of revenue in the agriculture sector.
We are all aware that these funds are to be used for the implementation of the pillars that have been allocated in the national budget and will only be used according to the plans from the Parish as clarified by the government. It has come to my understanding that most of the population is concentrated in the pillar that has gained the public’s interest under the model which is financial inclusion, and it’s intended to promote savings and investment by households in activities with a potential for generating a production surplus.
These are some of the sectors that need to be critically handled as they are of great significance to economic growth.
More so, we need to ensure that the model addresses the failures in previous interventions such as failure to pay back the resolving fund. All government ought to do is to help the public to understand the initiative and not just as a micro finance scheme. This way the initiative will register success as many people will be empowered.
Kevin Seguya, @kevinseguya