Muni University Report: West Nile Needs sh153.4b for Agriculture Investment to Eradicate Poverty

Habib Tibrichu addressing the participants at Muni University

BY RICHARD DRASIMAKU

ARUA: Friday, May 14, 2021

To stimulate productivity and eradicate poverty in West Nile, the government needs to invest sh153.4b into the region’s agricultural sector in a single year, according to a Muni University Report.

The report was based on a study conducted last year when planning for the National Development Plan III was underway.

It was meant to assess how best to utilize the parish development model in the region that the government has indicated will be the centre piece of its poverty alleviation programmes going forward.

The West Nile region has a population of 2,988,300 people in 500,000 households according to Uganda Bureau of Statistics projections for 2018.

Habib Tibrichu, the Muni University agriculture investment team leader who headed the project has said that after analyzing the current status of the agriculture sector, his team explored the existing opportunities and assessed the value chain constraints and challenges.

They conducted commodity mapping and selected the most suitable enterprises for integrated productions and marketing per district.

A thorough analysis of input requirements, estimated costs and expected outputs was done and an implementation strategy recommended, spelling out the roles of the different government and private sector players.

Tibrichu said the initial field findings were submitted to a special steering committee that selected nine commodities that has been recommended to kick start the project under the operation wealth creation.

These are simsim, soybeans and sunflower falling under the oil seeds category, beans, rice, onions and coffee, honey and fish farming.

 Specifically the committee earmarked soybeans for Adjumani, Moyo and Arua districts targeting 79,526 households. It is projected that if each of these households commits 1.5 acres of land for soybeans, they would produce 94,432 metric tons.

Morphat Mafu stresses a point during the discussions

The report recommended simsim for the districts of Adjumani, Moyo, Yumbe, Terego, Madi-Okollo, Arua and Pakwach targeting 233,366 households that have at least one acre for production.

Sunflower is recommended for Yumbe, Koboko and Moyo targeting 60,583 households able to set aside 2.5 acres for the crop’s production while rice is earmarked for Moyo, Yumbe, Koboko, Maracha, Arua city, Arua district, Madi-Okollo, Nebbi and Pakwach where 214,589 households are targeted to produce 127,209 metric tons per season.

For beans, Yumbe, Koboko, Maracha, Terego, Arua city, Arua district and Zombo are preferred with an estimated production of 180,174 metric tons by 224,293 households, each committing one acre of land to that cause.

Meanwhile Robusta coffee is recommended for Yumbe, Koboko, Arua City and Arabica for Nebbi, Arua and Zombo.

For honey the team recommends 1,207,217 beehives to be supplied to the districts of Yumbe, Koboko, Terego, Arua City, Arua district and Madi-Okollo.

Cage fish farming was taught to be best for Pakwach, Madi-Okollo, Obongi, Adjumani and Moyo where the government is advised to set up 75 cages at 60 sites and 230 fish ponds spread out in the districts of Adjumani, Moyo, Obongi, Yumbe, Koboko, Maracha, Arua, Madi-Okollo, Pakwach and Zombo.

They recommended the use of e-voucher system during input distribution to farmers and direct payment of farmers at parish collection and bulking centres by agro-industrial companies.

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