- The program targets the improved cassava varieties of Nasse 14 and 19 and Narocas 1 and 2. Cassava is a common staple food crop grown in West Nile for mostly home consumption
- World Bank has provided $ 150 million to support production of Rice, Beans, Maize, Cassava and Coffee in selected districts under ACDP
- The project will be implemented in 42 districts across Uganda. The districts have been grouped into 12 commodity Clusters
By Atiku Robert
West Nile- At least 25,000 selected households in West Nile region are set to benefit from a World Bank funded commercial cassava growing project.
The project, Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP) is a 6-year project program supported by Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and the World Bank.
In West Nile, the Program piloting started in 2015 in Nebbi district and it is set to be rolled out to three other West Nile districts of Arua, Maracha and Yumbe.
While speaking during the stake holder engagement meeting in Maracha district yesterday, Ms Daisy Eresu, the Cassava Commodity Officer of Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP) said since cassava is a staple food here, this would increase house hold incomes by raising on farm production and productivity.
“We want to work hard and make sure we bring this crop (cassava) into some industrial crop. We want to raise the farm production and productivity so that we have marketable volumes of the crop here.”
Mr Stephen Edema the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Maracha raised fears that the negative attitude of some people towards agriculture is a big blow to its practice.
“We pledge total political and technical support for this project. But I am very disappointed with some of our youth who don’t want to get employed in practicing agriculture. Many people here do not want to identify agriculture as their occupation where as in Europe, the wealthiest people are farmers,” he said.
Selected farmers will be expected to pay cost share of about 33 per cent for inputs in the first phase of the project as a form of commitment.
But some farmers have in the past complained of unreliable climatic conditions, destruction of crops by animals, theft and high cost of inputs that hindered commercial production of the crop.
Under this project, farmers will solicit inputs locally and at their own timing. Each farmer group consisting of at least 30 members will grow a minimum of one acre of cassava plantation.