REFUGEES IN ADJUMANI GIVEN TRACTOR TO INCREASE MAIZE, CASSAVA PRODUCTION

The RDC Adjumani Taban Peter Data testing the tractor after the hand over

BY MARKO TAIBOT

ADJUMANI: MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2022

South Sudan refugees in Adjumani district engaged in commercial farming in partnership with host communities have a means to the production of maize and cassava after they received a tractor from the Action Against Hunger (ACF).

ACF under the Right to Grow Project is conducting a program on the Communal Production of Nutritious Food Crops for Better Health, Better Nutrition, Resilience, and Self-Reliance in the districts of Adjumani and Yumbe.

The program brings together refugees and members of the host community to undertake commercial farming on land offered by the host community members.

As a result, community landlords have availed 3,420 Acres of land in Adjumani district alone, allowing about 1,620 refugees to have access to additional land for production.

Albert Simunyu, the Country Director for ACF, told journalists during a press briefing that the Right to Grow project is complementing the Government of Uganda program of the Parish Development Model as a strategy for socio-economic transformation targeting the household as the smallest economic unit.

“ACF is supporting the efforts of the government to ensure the refugees are part of the parish development model. We are integrating the refugees by making them access land and water for production and Value addition and technologies,” Simunyu remarked.

In 2016, Uganda began piloting the comprehensive refugee response framework (CRRF) with the objective of supporting government policy and protecting asylum seekers by allocating plots of land for cultivation by the refugees in the settlements.

ACF is furthering those efforts by grouping the refugees with members of the host communities and encouraging the host community to avail additional plots for mutual use.

The group farmers presenting a sack of cassava cutting ready for donation to other farmers

Simunyu pointed out that one of the biggest challenges of the farmers has been land opening on large scale due to poor methods of cultivation.

This is why ACF has acquired a tractor and the tractor is expected to open 366 acres of land this year and a projected 3,000 acres next year for use by the refugees and host communities.

This initiative according to the Simunyu will help the refugees become self-sufficient both in food production and earning income to avoid over-reliance on humanitarian aid as their main source of food and income.

The Adjumani Resident District Commissioner, Peter Taban Data while receiving the tractor on behalf of the Sub-counties of Dzaipi and Ukusijoni, commented ACF for supplementing the efforts of the government noting that his office will closely monitor the tractor to ensure value for money.

“Now that we are receiving a tractor, I want to appeal to the landlords to give more land and stop laziness,” the RDC said

Alex Lou, a refugee from Pagirinya settlement, said they acquired 86 acres of land as a group of 99 members of whom 70 are refugees and they have harvested their cassava and the maize which earned them sh126m.

“Our challenge has been land clearing, now that we have a tractor, we shall be able to open more land, and we shall forget the bad memories of the war in South Sudan,” Lou said.

Last month the minister for local government, Raphael Magyezi, challenged the districts of Adjumani and Yumbe to be models in implementation of the Parish Development Model after visiting a joint refugee-host community farmers’ group that invested sh10m but reaped sh112m I gross earning.

“I visited the farmer group that only injected sh10m and managed to get shs112m. Now when we give sh100m under the PDM, how much will they earn? Probably over sh600m,” Magyezi said.

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