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Dear President, PDM Requires Re-alginment

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Joshua Kato

In his statement after hosting different delegates in the model villages around Kisozi and Ssembabule, last week, President Yoweri Museveni once again hinted at the possibility of using the sh100m PDM funds per sub-county to adapt the now famous four-acre model.

For the last two years, people, including farmers, have been receiving funds under the Parish Development Model (PDM).

Each of them receives sh1m and invests it in an enterprise of their choice. PDM was touted as a possible game changer in the agriculture sector. Many of the people have, as the President advises, invested it in agriculture, including crops, livestock and even in value-addition.

However, a random survey indicates that there is no cohesion at all in the buying of these enterprises. For example, in a parish with 100 beneficiaries, it would have been more beneficial if they engaged in the same/common activity in order to benefit from the economies of scale.

If, for example, the 100 farmers invested the money in poultry or piggery, this would create a cluster of production, knowledge sharing and easy marketability.

However, it has been established that each of the farmers is engaging in different activities. While one buys coffee seedlings, another buys a cow or pig while others plant beans. At the end of the day, each will produce something. But in isolation!

There is no knowledge sharing, because there is nothing common in the enterprises and this isolation means that sustainability is almost impossible.

Perhaps PDM should have been organised in such way that clusters of common production were created before the funds were disbursed. This can still be done.

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