Late Release of Funds Affecting Food Security Project in Kyenjojo

In Kyenjojo district, the benefiting primary schools say the money for buying inputs like seedlings and seeds is released late.
Beans at Busaiga primary school have been affected by late planting that was as a result of late release of funds

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Late release of funds is affecting the Uganda Multi-Sectorial Food Security and Nutrition project – UMFSNP in Kyenjojo district. 

In 2016, the district benefited from project whose major objective is to address the problem of malnutrition in school-going children and women of child-bearing age. 

The six-year project worth 10 Billion shillings is funded by the Global Agriculture and Food Security under the supervision of the World Bank.

It is being implemented by the ministries of Agriculture, Health and Education.   

In Kyenjojo district, the benefiting primary schools say the money for buying inputs like seedlings and seeds is released late.

At Busaiga Primary School in Kihuura Sub County, the teacher in charge of the project, Bright Mohammed, says that they were supposed to receive money in February to buy beans for planting but the money was never disbursed.   

Mohammed discloses that after waiting for over a month and realizing that the season of planting was ending, they were forced to pick part of the Universal Primary Education – UPE funds to buy the beans and plant in the demonstration gardens.   

The money was later wired on the school's account in June but the delay caused them serious challenges. He notes that from the beans that they planted, they were supposed to harvest at least 200 kilograms but they only harvested 50 kilograms.  

//Cue in: “They delayed really…

Cue out… we suffered really.”//   

Mohammed says that they were also supposed to get money to fence of the demonstration gardens but the money has also delayed. As a result, they planted fruit trees that are part of the project like avocados, mangoes and oranges that were destroyed by stray domestic animals.   

At Kyankaramata Primary School, the deputy headteacher Julius Kaija Mugabo says that the money was disbursed late during the dry season.

He also says that other than late release of funds, the process of having a school cleared to receive the money is also long and time-consuming.   

//Cue in: “It requires a lot…

Cue out… process, activities delay.”//   

According to the project objectives, pupils are supposed to eat food from the crops grown at school. But at Kyankaramata, there is nothing to be eaten now as their stores have since run dry because crops did not yield much.

Efforts to get a comment from district project coordinator, Lawrence Kalyegira, yielded no results as he declined to comment on the matter.   

However, Kyenjojo district status report for financial year 2018/2019, the Ministry of Agriculture only disbursed 115 million shillings of the budgeted for 1.6 billion shillings which was equivalent to 7.1 per cent.   

The report noted that there was need for engagement between the project coordinators and the ministry to ensure there is timely release of the funds.

Financial records from schools show that each year they receive an average of 3 million shillings to buy seeds and other inputs like fertilizers and garden tools.   

Some of the crops grown under the Uganda Multi-Sectorial Food Security and Nutrition project are iron-rich beans, soya beans, eggplants, green papers, and orange fresh sweet potatoes.