- The farmers after thorough training by RICE-West Nile are able to adapt to new technologies developed by the National Agricultural Research Organisation
- The various groups in Nwoya and West Nile are able to connect to market their products
- Many of them have been living in mud-wattle grass thatched houses since their birth
West Nile- Different farmer groups from West Nile and Nwoya have united to kick out poverty at their households.
And due to the unity, a farmer group in Erussi Sub-county in Nebbi district is determined to move away from living in grass thatched houses and construct permanent houses out of the income obtained from farming.
The group, Yesu Kende that has about 25 members are engaged in banana, sugarcane, Irish potatoes and onion production. Due to their success in farming with a fertile land and adaptation to new technologies, the group is now being supported by Rural Initiative for Community Empowerment (RICE)-West Nile through a funding from Horizont 3000 and Austrian Development Agency under the project of Sustainable Rural Agro-Enterprise Development Project (SURAD).
One of the farmers, Denis Anirwoth, said: “We have resolved to come of living in grass thatched houses and build mabati (iron sheet) roofed houses. We have discovered that there is gold in farming the women in our group are hardworking and are earning a lot of money. Since I was born 37 years ago, I have been in grass thatched house which is expensive to maintain.”
She said most of the farmer have for years been stuck to mud-wattle grass thatched houses and they want to improve on their housing conditions. Anirwoth noted that they now earn about Shs 1.5 million from each of the crops if the weather condition is not hard during that season.
“With the current market, our products are now selling. We have improved production because we have adopted to new technologies of irrigation and planting improved seedling varieties that give us high yields,” she said.
The Secretary Production, Natalia Drateru buying some of the food products. Photo by Felix
The group has also been able to develop local pesticides and liquid manure that adds value to their land for planting. Another farmer in Obawu Group in Ajia Sub-county in Arua district, Charles Acidri, said: “Our farmers are now able to feed well, pay school fees and are getting out of poverty. We are struggling to see that they improve on their housing conditions too.”
During Farmer Innovation Fair in Arua that drew farmers from the district, Nebbi, Pakwach and Nwoya districts, Obawu emerged as winner for effectively adapting to marketing strategies, food security and new technologies.
During the Fair, Jackson Olema, the Administrative Manager of RICE-West Nile, said: “We want to see your children in schools studying in higher institutions of learning. We do not want to see the children drinking alcohol from morning on the roadsides because you cannot afford to pay fees. Use farming to enrich yourselves and network to get markets for your products.”
The Secretary for Production and Marketing, Natalia Drateru said there was need for the farmers to fight hunger in their families by planting short term crops as food security. “Use the money from the farms well and make sure you expand to mechanized agriculture. And do not sell everything and you live nothing at home. This would be dangerous when the rain stops,” Drateru said.