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Unreliable Markets May Hinder Parish Development Model- Masaka Leaders

Alice Nannungi, the Masaka City Women Councilor representing Nyendo-Mukungwe demands that as the government commits funds to finance the PDM projects, it also makes deliberate interventions to secure markets and attractive prices for the produces that will be generated from the beneficiary groups.
Vincent Ssentongo the Masaka City Councillor of Persons with Disability speaking during a stakeholders meeting on the Implementation of Parish Development Model

Audio 3

Local leaders in Masaka District are concerned that the Parish Development Model program may be hindered by challenges of markets of agricultural produce livestock diseases.

Through the implementation of the program, the government is seeking to transform the livelihoods of 39 households (approximately 3.5 million) from subsistence to a money economy. 

According to its design, the program is targeting to take development planning and resources to the Parish level to ensure that the national development is fully embraced right from the grassroots, using agriculture as the main pillar.

With agriculture taking a central place in the model, the local leaders in Masaka district are concerned that the recurrent frustrations of periodic outbreaks of livestock, irritating prices fluctuations, and unreliable markets for produce in the agricultural sector may as well catch up with the PDM, hence frustrating the realization of its objectives. 

Alice Nannungi, the Masaka City Women Councilor representing Nyendo-Mukungwe demands that as the government commits funds to finance the PDM projects, it also makes deliberate interventions to secure markets and attractive prices for the produces that will be generated from the beneficiary groups.

During their program mobilization meeting with State Minister for Water Aisha Ssekindi in Masaka City, the leaders challenged the government to concurrently undertake serious interventions that can improve the agricultural sector if the PDM is to sustainably realize its intended objectives.  

  //Cue in: “target ya government…..  

Cue in; ….okukola ku butale.”//

According to the program’s implementation guidelines, the government will directly support each parish development model cooperative with shillings 100 million to be expended as revolving funds among the different enterprise groups.

Each of the benefiting households will be allowed to access at least 1 million as a kick-start or additional capital for their income-generating projects.

But Michael Mulindwa Nakumusana, the Nyendo-Mukungwe Division Chairperson indicates that it's highly inevitable that the benefiting individuals will invest the PDM money in the traditional agricultural-based enterprises that include among others piggery and poultry, that are however threatened with recurrent outbreak diseases.

Alongside the Parish Chiefs as first-line supervisors of the PDM, Mulindwa also wants to government to make available adequate agriculture extension staff and facilities that can provide timely interventions to the challenges farmers may face and cause them losses.

   //Cue in: “bwotunulira enterprises…   

  Cue out; …..kyasobola okukola.”//  The Food and Agricultural Organization-FAO recommends a ratio of one extension worker to 750 farmers, but in Uganda statistics indicate that the country is faced with an acute understaffing with each extension worker deployed for 1,800 framers hence being inefficient.

Nakumusana says, it is high time the government dedicated resources to reducing the current extension services gap, which is a serious impediment to agricultural sector redevelopment.

But Ssekindi indicated that government is open to receiving all concerns regarding the implementation of the program and that in the due course it will take the necessary adjustments.

She however asked the leaders to mobilize the program beneficiaries to also play their individual roles such as ensuring prevention measures against livestock diseases and venturing into value addition chains as they wait on the government to play its part.

  //Cue in; “government erina….. 

  Cue out; ….nayo tunatukayo.”//