Self-sufficiency for rural farming households

The three-year project aimed to sustainably improve the nutrition, health and incomes of 540 returnee households from the poorest rural farming communities in the Maracha District of West Nile sub-region in northern Uganda. Improved agricultural practices would improve food production, WASH activities would improve household health and reduce the incidence of hygiene-related diseases. Training in aspects of farming for income generation would enable farmers to cover their basic needs. The project also aimed to reduce the impact of climate change and promote gender equity.

By the end of the project, 668 households (approx. 4,676 direct beneficiaries) were ultimately reached, exceeding the initial target. 80% of project targets were met despite unfavourable weather conditions, the threat of Ebola virus and the Covid-19 pandemic. The nutritional status of families has improved by over 68%, each households consuming three meals per day. This is due to increased crop yields as a result of good farming skills, such as: proper tillage, mulching, compost use, contouring and cut-off drainages. The promotion of kitchen gardening and   commercial vegetable growing, as well as fruit trees, has contributed to good nutrition, leading to better community health. Family incomes have increased by over 100% and farmers are able to safe enough funds to cover basic needs such as healthcare, education and home improvement. Beneficiaries practice good home and personal hygiene, with better sanitation facilities, such as: dish drying racks, rubbish pits, clothes-drying lines, pit latrines, improved housing and clean compounds edged with hedges. Farmers now work together in solidarity and are there are fewer incidences of illnesses and no recorded cases of domestic violence.

The UK-based charity International Refugee Trust, established in 1989, aims to support the most disadvantaged refugees, internally displaced persons and returnees in Jordan, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. It envisions a world where all people live peacefully in the place they call home, with the skills, opportunities and confidence to support themselves and progress socially and economically.

 

668
Households

Type

Health / Education / Environment / Community Development

Duration

April 2018 - June 2021

Location

Maracha Province / Uganda

With whom

International Refugee Trust (IRT)

Website

www.irt.org.uk

Uganda

Population
42.9 million (2017)

Per Capita Income
USD 600/year (2017)

Poverty rate *
21% (2016)

Literacy rate
70% (2016)

Human Development Index
162nd out of 189 countries (2018)

Uganda’s economy has continued to post strong growth, by many developing country standards. It nevertheless remains a very poor country and far from the middle-income status it aspires to. Although the poverty rate has greatly declined from 39% in 2002 to 19% in 2012, the strong population growth has meant that the absolute number of poor people has remained the same. One in three children has no food to eat during the school day and 27% of children under five are stunted. Agriculture accounts for 25% of the country’s GDP and employs 77% of the adult population. However, the productivity of smallholder farmers remains low due to lack of access to services such as credit and insurance and reliance on traditional farming methods.

Sources: World Food Program, UNICEF, World Bank, 2016 Human Development Report, Human Development Indices and Indicators (2018 Statistical Update)

*The percentage of the population living below the national poverty line.