Church of Uganda’s agriculture program for socio-economic transformation implemented in partnership with the Government of Uganda through NAADS, has registered early success, according to Rev. Canon William Ongeng, the Provincial Secretary of the Church of Uganda.
During a media interview after a Senior Management monitoring visit to Busoga Diocese in Jinja today, Canon Ongeng expressed gratitude for the program’s early success and said he was optimistic about its potential to transform targeted communities.
“I led a team from the Provincial Secretariat to monitor the progress of our agriculture program in Busoga Diocese. I witnessed firsthand the great transformation that has taken place,” he said.
The Provincial Treasurer, Mr. Balaam Muheebwa noted that he was impressed that the project has impacted many people, especially women.
“Today we visited a number of projects supported by the government through NAADS, including cows and pigs. Women are very involved, and we are seeing a difference. Some beneficiaries have benefited from the sale of milk thus improving their incomes. It is very gratifying that they are yearning for more.” Mr. Muheebwa said.
Rev. Andrew Agaba, the Director of Household and Community Transformation (HCT), said that some of the heifers have already given birth, and members are preparing to pass them on to the next line of beneficiaries.
“We are impressed that this project is beginning to impact the livelihoods of different households in different Dioceses, improving income according to some of the farmers that we saw.” Rev. Agaba said.
He added, “It is part of the pilot program in five Dioceses, and we hope to expand to other 32 Dioceses in the next five years.”
Rev. Agaba disclosed that this is part of the pilot program in the five Dioceses out of the 37 Dioceses having started with Busoga, Central Buganda, South Ankole, Kitgum and West Lango Dioceses.
We signed an MOU with NAADS and the government of Uganda that in the next five years we will expand to other 32 Dioceses.” Rev. Agaba said.
He added, “We shall move to West Lango to monitor the forty heifer project, piggery and rainbow chicks, then proceed to to Kitgum and in the near future proceed to Central Buganda to see the ginger production and other interventions that are being implemented”
“HCT remains committed to empowering local communities to improve their capacity in terms of income and food security in order for them to attain a better life.” Rev Agaba said.
Beneficiaries speak out
Rev. Aggrey Mutebe, the Parish Priest of Magamaga Parish, said, “I am one of the beneficiaries who received a heifer from the Provincial Secretariat, and it has brought joy to our home. My wife and I were struggling to buy milk from far, but now we have our own cow which gives us milk for drinking and sale. We get cow dung from the heifer which we take to our banana plantation, giving us additional income.”
Esther Aliwayoki, the HCT Coordinator for Busoga Diocese, said, “We received 3000 rainbow chicks, 200 piglets, and 40 heifers. All these inputs were given to different beneficiaries in the Dioceses to improve income and food security in their households. The challenges are diseases and high costs of feeds, but through training and capacity building, we will improve to have enough food and inclusive income.”
A number of beneficiaries of the heifers and pigs were visited.
Last year, Church of Uganda requested for a collaboration with the government of Uganda through NAADS to mobilize communities for socio economic transformation through an agricultural development program.