By Prossy Nandudu
Are you a farmer who is tired of practicing subsistence agriculture and would like to upgrade to commercial farming? You would do well to make your way to Kololo Independence Grounds, where the Harvest Money Expo 2023 is in progress. Expo attendees are set to receive training from the Parish Development Model (PDM) Secretariat, so as to get ready for the upcoming planting season.
According to Dr Edward Katende, the PDM technical advisor, the mission of the model is to transform Ugandans, especially those in subsistence farming to make money out of their agricultural ventures. “This transformation is a process; whose key component is the acquisition of capital which the Government is making available through parish Saving and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs).
Before a farmer can access the money, he or she is first taken through a series of trainings on how to use the money correctly so as to achieve the purpose of the intervention. This is highlighted in Pillar 3 of the model – which is financial inclusion. This pillar is aimed at enabling access to appropriate financial services such as savings, credit, insurance and payment systems by households in the subsistence sector.
“If a farmer belonging to a legally registered SACCOs has prepared their garden, they can access the funds from the SACCO and start their faming,” Katende says. That way, funds under the PDM will be put to the right use. This was not so in the past, where cash was advanced to farmers before the actual implementation of set programmes or projects kicking off,” he explained.
“Previously people accessed money first before the actualisation of their projects and produced little or nothing, but the President has guided that money should only be sent to ready SACCOs and households that are ready to cultivate,” Katende says.