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Museveni Meets CEC Over Parish Development Model Implementation

Museveni met the CEC members to strategize on how to achieve maximum results from the Parish Development model.
02 Jul 2022 12:15
President Yoweri Museveni and First Lady Janet Museveni
President Yoweri Museveni on Friday met members of the Central Executive Committee-CEC of the National Resistance Movement-NRM to strategize on how to achieve maximum results from the Parish Development model.

In a meeting where the Parish Development Model secretariat led by the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, the Minister of Local Government Raphael Magyezi, and the National Coordinator of the Parish Development Model Dennis Galabuzi Ssozi briefed CEC, Museveni said although the program is needed everywhere across the country; the special focus must be put on the Busoga region. He said the people of Busoga need to be liberated from sugarcane growing to other ventures outlined under the parish development model if they are to get out of poverty.

According to the President, although the Parish Development Model is intended to scale up government efforts to support the homesteads in subsistence farming to commercialize, create wealth and gainful employment, and raise household incomes, people in Busoga are likely to remain poor since many have been enslaved and given away their chunks of land for sugar cane growing.

“For Busoga, I think I will have to go there and have a conference. We shall have to discuss how to liberate the slaves now because the land has been taken by the sugar growers. They should get out of those contracts, regain their land and do what other people are doing in other parts of the country,” Museveni said.

  The Vice President Jessica Alupo Epel and the Speaker of Parliament Anita Among Annet also attended the CEC meeting as guest members.

Busoga has the biggest number of sugarcane mills and huge acreage of sugarcane, making use of its fertile soil around Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga coupled with good rains.

Uganda Bureau of Statistics 2020 figures show that Busoga has 1.2 million poor persons of which 0.4 million are living in poverty or household food insecurity because many farmers converted their arable land meant for food production for cane growing.

Nabbanja expressed worry that despite the massive sensitization about the parish development model, people especially in Kalangala and Busoga who were advised to go for oil palm growing and sugar cane growing respectively might remain poor unless given special consideration.   “I have been to seven districts in Busoga. These people rent out their land at a cost of 500,000 shillings per acre for five (5) years and they don’t have land. You see sugarcane plantations in front of their homes and those plantations are not theirs. They leased the land and they’re stuck. To me, this program is a savior because they can go for other enterprises like piggery, chicken, and the like but we need guidance in that,” Nabbanja said.

She added that in Buvuma since 2014, they were advised to go for palm oil farming but many who gave out their land have not been compensated.

Under the Parish Development Model, households who own four acres of land or less will be supported in carrying out intensive farming such as zero-grazing, dairy farming, production of coffee, fruits, food crops, poultry for eggs, piggery, and fish farming. They will also be encouraged to adopt a farming model which is capable of earning 21 Million Shillings from two acres of land whereby one acre is for food and the other for cash crop activities.

Museveni asked the meeting to plan for the excess produce that will be realized as a result of embracing the parish development model. He directed Nabbanja to work closely with the ministries of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development and that of Trade, industry, and cooperatives and with the Private sector foundation to prepare how excess production will be absorbed.

Alupo asked the meeting and the Parish Development Model Secretariat to borrow a leaf from the palm oil growing in Kalangala that has transformed the lives of over 2,000 farmers despite the excess production. She noted that through their solid cooperative of out-growers, they have dividends of 14 Billion Shillings.

Nabbanja assured the President of the success of the parish development model that she says has so far received overwhelming support from the population.

She, however, expressed the need to have mechanisms or laws to deal with Ugandans, especially in Kampala who might disappear after receiving the funds due to the nature of their businesses.

President Museveni directed the secretariat and the Ministry of Local Government to study how they will trace people in urban areas who keep migrating from one town to the other. He said those who are not ready should not be given the funds.

The Minister for local government Raphael Magyezi will report back in the next Cabinet meeting on the strategies on how to deal with beneficiaries of the parish development model in urban areas.

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