ERIGNU project inception meeting pictorial
The Enhancing Rice-Greengram productivity in Northern Uganda (ERIGNU) project in Uganda is funded by the Applied Research Fund (ARF). Project partners include WOUGNET, Makerere University (College of Computing and Information Sciences – CoCIS, and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences – CAES), SNV Netherlands Development Organization, NARO – National Semi Arid Resources Research Institute (NaSARRI), and the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM).
Rice production in Uganda had been conducted mainly in a few irrigation schemes in the Eastern regions, however, in a major shift from subsistence to commercialized agriculture over the past three decades, a strategy to reduce poverty in households in Uganda, has led to smallholder farmers adopting crops such as rice as a food and cash crop. Recently, the increasing number of small-scale farmers living in areas adjacent to wetlands in Eastern and Northern Uganda have taken up rice production as a profitable economic activity for fighting hunger and improving household incomes (ADC, 2001; MAAIF, 2008). The productivity of rice farmlands have increasingly become lower as farmers continuously grow the same crop season-after-season with little or no soil replenishment. In addition, no crop rotation (a cheap way of replenishing soil fertility) is practiced. Lands used for rice production are often left un-utilized between rice crops even when another short duration crops could be grown in rotation. It is against this background that the project proposes to introduce greengram (Vigna radiate), also known as Mung bean as a rotation crop in the rice farming system so as to increase utilization of available land, improve soil fertility and enhance farmer’s income and nutrition.
The target groups for this project are smallholder farmers in northern Uganda who will be engaged in project activities right from inception. We expect to improve access to high quality seeds, increase farmland productivity and improve access to agricultural information using modern technologies. We expect that Over 600 to 9000 farmers will directly or indirectly benefit from the project. The proposed project is a community intervention that uses a bottom-up approach where the beneficiaries (farmers) are involved right from the initial stages through the implementation process so as to create ownership and ensure sustainability. Secondly, collaborating practitioner organisations (WOUGNET and ISSD) are already established within communities and therefore will continue to play a back-stopping role even after the project has ended. After institutionalization especially to the government, the local government extension agents will continue to guide the clusters in sustainable quality seed production. The project will also train and establish local monitoring committees who will continue to manage and oversee the continuity of the model even after the end of the project.
One of the first in a series of significant preparation meetings to kick off the project was an inception meeting held in Apac on the 13th April 2017. The meeting saw participants including, Government authorities from the three respective project districts of Apac, Kole and Lira in attendance. Also in Attendance were project staff from the consortium, farmers, media and other interested citizens. This activity was a more formal engagement with the project beneficiaries and was meant to acquaint them with the project, its benefits to their communities and households and to highlight stakeholder roles and responsibilities.
Group Pictures by Peter Kasirye & other Pictures by WOUGNET Staff
You can follow discussions from this event on twitter @wougnet #ARFapac2017 or on our Facebook page.
H. Susan Atim
Program Assistant Information Sharing and Networking
Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET)
Plot 360, Kiuliriza, Ggaba Road, Kansanga,
Twitter: @wougnet/ @hatimsusan