Ramathan Ggoobi, who has been advising the government on poverty alleviation, says the model gives the government a ‘bottom-up’ development planning, where the grassroots people have a chance to generate ideas for the development of their communities.
in the agriculture sector are worried that although the new financial year is
scheduled to start in two weeks’ time, there are almost no structures to
implement new initiatives by the government to boost household incomes,
especially the Parish Model of Development. Calling themselves non-state actors
led by the Food Rights Alliance, FRA, they say they are in full support of the
They are, however, worried that there seems not to be enough being done on the
ground as well as in the just read national budget 2021/22, to give confidence
that the idea will be well-implemented. The PDM is a plan under, which the
the government wants to concentrate their development resources at the lowest level
of implementation of the national programs.
Ggoobi, who has been advising the government on poverty alleviation, says the model gives the government a ‘bottom-up’ development planning, where the grassroots
people have a chance to generate ideas for the development of their
communities. The Ministry of Finance presented the Model as an approach to
organising and delivering public and private sector interventions for wealth
creation including investment planning, budgeting and service delivery at the
parish level as the lowest planning unit.
the Executive Director FRA, says that the model is not an entirely new
initiative, but that it was just abandoned or neglected by the government. She, however, notes that the uniform
facilitation of the 10,594 parishes is not workable, because they have
different structures, with some parishes operating as town councils and others
city wards while others are the usual rural administrative units.
Another concern by Kirabo is that the parishes have no structure since they
have been dismantled or abandoned over decades, while the current parish chiefs
are not trained to handle the proposed PDM.
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The government has also listed 14 key priority interventions to focus on in the
coming year, including re-organisation of public support to farmers through the
nucleus farmer, agriculture mechanization, water for agriculture production,
pest, vector and disease control, agriculture mechanization, regulation and
certification, fisheries promotion and enforcement of good fishing practices,
and extension service delivery.
Others are value addition, agriculture financing, Farmer group formation and
registration, cotton development in Uganda and animal genetic
development. Kirabo argues that the government should have been a little
more specific and selected a few commodities for the target to be achievable,
instead of 14, which might be too much.
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The Director Budget at the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic
Development, Kenneth Mugambe, says the model is to be implemented in phases
that include training of chiefs and Parish Development Committees. Operationalizing
the committees will take the first three months, and implementation of the
model is planned to start in October.
He adds that
the funds have been budgeted for and that all the funded programs under the
model will be well coordinated. Since the government has been pushing for
agro-industrialization, it is expected that there is a need to create either
community processing facilities or smallholder industries in the rural areas to
cater for the agriculture output.
But, according to workers in the agriculture sector, this can only be possible
if rural electrification is given special focus, especially targeting areas
where agro-processing is likely to have an impact. James Cleto Mumbere, the coordinating
team leader at the Community Integrated Development Initiative, CIDI, also
wonders why the local governments, at least through the leader’s association,
are not part of the composition of the inter-ministerial committee charged with
overseeing the implementation of the model.
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say there are already ongoing programs at the grassroots, some very well organized,
which would be easy to integrate in the government plans. Ronald Bagaga,
the Program Officer Research and Policy at the Eastern and Southern Africa
Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF) Uganda, says this would even make the
implementation of the parish model easier by taking on already existing
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The other important group that feels left out of the developments are the
agriculture extension and advisory workers, who say that the whole agriculture
modernization would heavily depend on them. The Uganda Forum for
Agricultural Advisory Services, UFAAS, a group that brings together advisors
and extension workers, says all such categories should be brought together
instead of leaving everyone to work in isolation.
Adeline Muhebwa, a
leader in AFAAS adds that the advisory services sector has been affected by the
failure by government and parliament to have the Uganda National Extension Bill
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On their part, the Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and
Negotiations Institute SEATINI, expresses doubt that even if there is increased
production, it will benefit Ugandans unless the issue of market access has been
addressed. SEATINI Uganda Chief Executive, Jane Nalunga, says Uganda has
negotiated and secured many markets, but the farmers have not benefited from
them because the government has not helped them either improve on the quality
or facilitate access to them.