1Semalulu O.1, V. Kasenge2, C. Gumisiriza3, and P. Makhosi1

1National Agricultural Research Laboratories, Kawanda, P.O. Box 7065, Kampala, 2Makerere University,

Faculty of Agriculture. P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, 3Uganda National Farmers Federation.

Abstract

Many Natural Resource Management (NRM) projects face a challenge that technologies piloted during project life hardly live beyond the lifespan of the project. This paper shares experiences from an ASARECA supported NRM project piloted for 1½ years, closed abruptly for 2 years then reactivated. The project is implemented in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania with Bududa and Mbale as the pilot districts in Uganda. It targets developing sustainable value chain/value addition options for priority marketable enterprises as a stimulant to adoption of NRM technologies in high agricultural potential, densely populated but relatively low market areas of East and Central Africa. Banana was selected for Bududa and ground nuts for Mbale. During the first phase, the project piloted soil and water conservation technologies (runoff water harvesting using stabilized contour bunds, improved banana growing including livestock integration (zero grazing), manure management, use of SSP on ground nuts, among others, facilitated by strengthened governance institutions (farmer groups). After two years of project closure, the project team visited project sites and found that farmers in 5 groups out of 7 in Bududa and 3 out of 5 in Mbale district were continuing with activities that the project had initiated. Many farmers had extended the technologies from a group demo to their individual farms; groups had grown bigger in number and had maintained coherence. Because they had better managed fields, chairpersons of 4 of the project supported groups (Namatsale in Mbale district and Bakhasi be Shisa, Bubore, Bunabutiti in Bududa district) had been selected among the 6 model and lead farmers per parish under the newly introduced NAADS program. This further increased the spirit of competition among farmers. Farmers stressed that continuity of project activities has been achieved through community enthusiasm and hard work, strengthened farmer groups, self monitoring among group members, involving other non-group members, tying NRM issues with other livelihood interventions (e.g. home health and sanitation), support from the local leaders (e.g. extension staff) and other related government programs. Farmers had realized benefits out of the practices they were implementing, for example farmers in Namawanga group (Mbale district) pointed out that ground nuts planted with SSP yielded higher and were less affected by drought. They now purchase SSP from agro-input dealers. Potential opportunities for value addition include a growing regional and local market for banana and ground nuts, presence of supportive government, private and other programs, among others. Bulking and market chain re-organisation are fore-seen value addition/ value chain options to be piloted by the project during the new phase.

Key words

Natural Resource Management, value addition, governance, sustainability

Vision

To be a centre of excellence generating and promoting appropriate agricultural technologies

Mission

To generate and promote agricultural technologies and improve productivity, value addition, income and food security

Services

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