- Already, there are two processing factories for fruits in West Nile especially in Yumbe and Arua districts, which offer marketing opportunities for the farmers
- Most farers here grow fruits but they end up being wasted due to the poor marketing for them
- The agriculture sector in Uganda employs over 80 percent of the population majority of whom are women 65 per cent and youth with 35 per cent of the labour-force respectively according UBOS 2015
- Agriculture in West Nile is mainly subsistence with 25 per cent of the farmers that sell less than five per cent of production and only 10 per cent that sell more than 50 per cent as per the statistics from UBOS 2015
By Metedio Iceta
West Nile- The leaders of West Nile region under their umbrella body, West Nile Development Association (WENDA) have launched fruit growing project worth Shs 2.7 billion.
This, the leaders said would improve livelihood of small-holder farmers with support from Provincia Autonomia di Trento and Italian Agency for development cooperation.
Mr Patrick Bongo, the head of program officer for Associazione Centro Aiuti Volontari (ACAV) said agriculture remains arguably the mainstay in Uganda’s economy. “The agricultural production in West Nile is still low with yields. This project is a culmination of the requests made to ACAV as implementing organ and by WENDA and also by West Nile leaders following their visits to Trento, Italy in 2017,” Mr Bongo said.
He added: “Changing our farmers mindset along with good agronomic practices and adequate value chains will boost food security, household income, job creation and value addition in West Nile to transform lives and communities,” he said.
Mr Hassan Nginya, the Chairman of West Nile Development Association and LC5 Chairman Koboko district called upon the leaders to team up for development of the region.
“Fighting poverty means working together. If we want to support our people in the region we must remain united and lobby for them and we ensure that standards are set to our people. Fruit growing can turn the communities to earn a descent living because there are opportunities in the region.”
The LC5 Chairman for Moyo district, Mr Williams Anyama, said on Monday that Mr Williams Anyama, said there was need for concerted efforts to lobby for markets for the fruit growers so that they can sell their products.
He said fruit farmers should improve on their products with proper packaging, value addition through better farming methods.