A $12 million project has been launched in Uganda that will benefit more than 9,600 crop, livestock, and fish farmers by improving agricultural practices. The project is the result of a partnership between China and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. (FAO) Uganda will provide nearly $10 million of the project funds, while China will commit $2.4 million. FAO and China will work together on the project’s implementation.
Known as the South-South Cooperation (SSC), the project is currently in its third phase and will run for three years. The first and second phases of the project, produced successful results that saw a quadrupling of rice yields per hectare in the project areas. There was also a significant boost in milk production.
Phase 3 of the project will comprise four main focus areas: establishing a centralized technology transfer base; developing high-yielding plans for rice and foxtail millet; supporting livestock improvement programs; and developing aquaculture value chains.
“This project will contribute to ensuring food security and nutrition, income generation, decent job creation, especially for the youth and women, and improving the livelihoods of the selected farmers,” said Zhang Xiaoqiang, team leader of the project.
Farmers to benefit
Some of the 9,600 project beneficiary farmers, include 3,000 women, 1,000 livestock farmers, 100 fish farmers, and small-scale crop farmers growing mainly rice and foxtail millet across 30 districts in Uganda. The farmers will get access to farm inputs, training, and knowledge exchange from Chinese experts.
“We urge the beneficiaries, who are selected in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and the district agriculture officials, to show interest in adopting new technologies and avail the land for it,” said Xiaoqiang.
A team of Chinese experts will coordinate the modern farming knowledge exchange that will foster capacity building and technology transfer. Field trainings will train leaders who will train other farmers. The project will set up four hubs for integrated technology, livestock, cereals and aquaculture in Luweero, Mbarara, Butaleja and Kajjansi districts. New technologies that will be introduced include rice-fish culture, where farmers can rear fish in paddy rice fields for better land use and higher income generation.