Sustainable Livelihoods

Status: Open
Duration: 2017 – 2021
Coverage: Districts |: 1(Amolatar)

Sub counties |: 3 (i.e. Greater Aputi, Muntu and Awelo)

Parishes |: 24

Funded by: Broederlijk Delen

Summary

This is a sustainable livelihoods project aimed at increasing food security and income of 7200 households in Lango sub-regions particularly Amolatar district in 2017-2021. The project focuses on the increase of production and farm resilience through agro-ecological agriculture and climate change adaptation. The project also looks at strengthening marketing associations aimed at improving commercialization of agricultural products of family farmers. The project believes that bulking of produce/products and very good post-harvest handling contributes to family farmers getting more control over the value chain and a better share of the benefits.

The project also aimed at improving gender equality by training relevant stakeholders and farmers in a rights-based approach on gender and using Gender Action Learning Systems (GALS), as well as Community Peace Promoters (CPPs) who work with the target groups.

Youth is a special target group in the project. In order to develop a strong agriculture sector in a sustainable way, it’s crucial to involve and motivate youth. There are opportunities for youth to earn their income in value chains, and at the same time, they can offer an added value when leading improvements and innovation in those value chains.

Background

The post-conflict period from 2006 to 2012 in Lango was characterized by a decrease in agricultural production, food insecurity and malnutrition remained a challenge. Although access to land in the region is at 60-80% which presents a huge untapped potential for large-scale agricultural productivity, other factors like displacement, widespread poverty, gender inequality in land access, climatic changes and related phenomena like floods and drought have left the area vulnerable and in need of stabilization for sustainable livelihoods. A study commissioned by Agri-ProFocus Uganda in 2011 noted that commercialization of farming in Northern Uganda is faced by a number of challenges including erratic climate, low productivity, poor infrastructure, inadequate business development support services, low levels of mechanization, weak farmer institutions, inadequate post-harvest and processing capacity and the dependence syndrome attitude held by the previously displaced population.1 Other issues based on feedback from communities include land access, control and utilization; fluctuation in world market prices; inadequate quality planting materials and stock breeds; inadequate markets and market information; and inadequate farm power. The study also observes that opportunities for commercialization of farming in the sub-regions exist given the existing markets (local and regional), the dual rainfall pattern especially in some parts of Lango and the good soils.

What we have accomplished so far:

  • Gender equality within the groups has significantly improved as men, women and youth are given equal opportunities to participate in leadership roles, discussions and decision making processes within the groups.  For example, 40% of group leaders are women, and they actively take part in the activities of their respective groups.
  • Through Gender Action Learning Systems (GALS), counselling, mediations and guidance to the targeted groups, at least 68% of 1830 beneficiaries reached reported living peacefully in their homes without any form of violence or torture.
  • Women, youth, persons with Disabilities and children reported improved access, ownership and utilization of land.  This has resulted in an increased level of production since women and children contribute greater efforts to farming. This resulted in increased incomes at household levels, with households reporting a significant increase in capacities to meet basic daily expenses including medical, school, clothing and other household fundamental assets.
  • At least 65% of the beneficiaries reached have significantly shown commitments and evidence of replication of improved farming and agro-ecology practices in their households as a result of the pieces of training.
  • Support to 40 VSLA groups with VSLA toolkits resulted in significant improvement of members’ saving culture as records and procedures of acquiring loans are very clear to members compared to the time when savings were done informally.
  • We have registered high levels of active involvement by stakeholders in Amolatar district and Sub County local governments in the human rights component of the project. We have also documented increased levels of support beginning to be rendered to project beneficiaries by the agricultural extension workers of the district.
  • Development of human rights training guide helped in dissemination of rightful information and dealing with human rights issues. In addition, the stakeholders trained developed a joint action plan to implement new ideas on the protection of human rights in their respective dockets of responsibility. Their approaches included both mainstream and strategic actions to broaden and sharpen outcomes.
  • Coaching of farmer groups on the importance of cooperatives/marketing associations has resulted into formation of 7 marketing associations in Amolatar district, Lango; they are dealing in maize and Soybean value chains.