Farmers’ Groups Get A Value Addition Project

KIKUUBE – Kikuube district local government has launched a Shs 850 million project which will facilitate farmer groups to add value to their maize and rice produce.

The project is funded through the Matching Grant Facility (MGF) under the Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP).

ACDP is a five-year government project initiated in 2018 to improve on-farm productivity, production, and volumes of selected agricultural commodities in specific geographical clusters of the country.

Kikuube district is one of the four beneficiary districts in cluster 10.

Under the ACDP scheme, a first-time farmer is supposed to pay 33% of shs 450,000 and the government tops up the remaining balance.

In the second season, both the government and farmers pay 50% of the money and at the third season, the government pays 33% while the farmer takes the bigger share, 67% of the payment.

The government initiated the Matching Grant Facility (MGF) to assist farmers get good harvests as well as add value to their produce and to also improve road infrastructure to connect farmers to markets.

Speaking during the launch of the project, Barnabus Ntume, the Kikuube district Production Officer explained that 12 farmer groups applied for the Matching Grant Facility (MGF) but only five were considered after they met the requirements.

The qualified farmers’ groups include; Kyangwali farmer’s group in Kyangwali sub-county which received shs 150million, Twimuke Savings Internal Lending Community Association (TSILCA) got shs180 million, Wambabya Community Development Cooperative Society (WDCS) received shs 180 million, Bunyoro Turihamu Cooperative Society (BTCS) received shs181 million all from Kiziranfumbi sub-county and Banyakole Tweyombeke Association in Buhimba sub-county received shs 150 million.

According to Ntume, the funds are going to be used to construct processing house facilities and equipping the facilities with maize miller machines.

“The first criteria we considered for the groups to get the Matching Grant Facility, was the number of farmers that a group has registered on the e-voucher system (farmers Benefiting from ACDP project)” he explained. He added that the qualified groups were also required to pay a co-funding of 33% of the total Matching Grant Facility.

He added that the district is also expecting to get a Matching Grant of shs 700 million to improve on the road networks in the district.

He added that this money is aimed at addressing the challenges failing the farmers to easily access the market for their agricultural produce.

Launching the project, Peter Banura, Kikuube district boss explained that farmers managed to get the funding because they were organized and called on more farmers to form groups to ensure that they benefit from the government projects.

He challenged the beneficiary groups to sensitize their members on the issue of post-harvest handling methods to ensure quality of production adding that poor handling of crops after harvest is affecting markets.

He added that Kikuube district has the capacity to be a food basket for Bunyoro region once farmers get united and practice commercial agriculture.

He also promised to link up the farmer groups to different organizations such as the World Food Program to address the issue of market if they get organized and start producing quality produce.

Kikuube district Secretary for Production, Nicholas Kiiza, commended the government for the funding, adding that once the projects get completed, the farmers will start adding value to their agricultural produce.

However, he warned the contractors against producing shoddy work and beneficiaries to monitor the projects to ensure value for money after the completion of the projects.

Man Lawrence and Benon Tusigwire, board chairpersons for Kyangwali Farmers and Wambabya Community Development Cooperative Society respectively, commended the government for supporting them to establish the processing house facilities adding that once completed, the farmers will be able to process their produce and sell finished products instead of selling grains.

However, they said that their associations have no means of transport to facilitate farmers to transport their produce from the farms to stores and tractors and called upon the district local government to lobby and get them such agricultural machineries.

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