Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations of Italy funds FAO's USD 1.3 million (Uganda Shillings 3.2 billion) commercial agriculture project for Northern Uganda
KAMPALA, Uganda, October 2, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The FAO Representative in Uganda, Mr. Alhaji Jallow and the Italian Ambassador to Uganda, His Excellency Stefano A. Dejak have today signed an agreement for a new USD 1.3 million (Uganda Shillings 3.2 billion) project – “Promotion of commercialization of agriculture among resettling populations in Gulu, Kole and Lira districts of Northern Uganda to restore livelihoods and reduce poverty”.
Funded by the Government of Italy, the three year project aims at improving food security and incomes of smallholder farmers and emerging Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through development of rice and sunflower subsectors.
It will put emphasis on profitable production, processing, value addition, marketing and capacity development.
The project targets Northern Uganda, a region that is just emerging from 20 years of civil strife.
Following what the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) through its Development Sector and Investment Plan (DSIP) is already doing regarding rice and sunflower as some of the priority value chains for eradicating poverty in northern Uganda, increased investments are still needed for recovery and development of these sub-sectors.
Mr. Jallow said “in order to ensure well functioning rice and sunflower value chains that generate equitable benefits to all actors, there is need for concerted efforts by development practitioners”.
Mr. Dejak stressed that “Italy's support for this project bears witness to the continuing Italian engagement in favour of the development of Uganda's agriculture from subsistence to fully commercialised production to the great benefit of Uganda's economy”.
The Government of Italy is also funding FAO's USD 9 million cross border project in Kabale, Kisoro and Kasese districts in Uganda (alongside adjacent districts in Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi). The project has assisted 3,500 farmers to produce more profitably, add value and access markets for irish potatoes, milk, fruits and honey in Uganda.