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Fish Farmers Hail Museveni For Project

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Vision Reporter

Fish farmers in Buikwe district were all smiles on Friday following a donation of 75,000 fingerlings from State House. The fingerlings, which included tilapia and mudfish sh, are part of a larger initiative to enhance income-generating activities in the area.

Fish farmers at Senyi landing site in Buikwe also received fish feeds and 90 piglets. The items were delivered by State House officials led by the principal agriculture officer, Charles Kiwuwa, who visited the farmers with veterinary specialists.

The team trained farmers on proper farming methods and alternative income-generating activities as part of the Strategic Campaign on Alternative Income-Generating Activities to the Fishing Communities in Uganda project.

This programme is a coordinated effort involving the departments of value addition and agriculture, the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, the Microfinance Support Centre, National Agricultural Advisory Services, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, and the Bukunja Foundation.

Kiwuwa commended the State House team for their training efforts.

He reiterated the importance of government programmes like the Parish Development Model (PDM) in improving livelihoods and encouraged beneficiaries to engage actively.

Kiwuwa also highlighted the President’s long-standing promotion of the four-acre model, emphasising it as a crucial strategy for improving household incomes across Uganda.

“I want to urge all of you to get out of your comfort zone, which has been fi shing for a long time, and try out different income-generating activities like coffee farming, chicken rearing, and others in response to the President’s call to embrace the four-acre model that is intended to tremendously improve our livelihood,” Kiwuwa said.

The four-acre model farming is an initiative by President Yoweri Museveni with the objective of ending food insecurity, promoting livelihood, mindset change, and utilisation of land for massive production.

Under the initiative, farmers are required to utilise four acres of land for livestock, fi shing and crop production. The President’s initiative indicates that the farmer should have a coffee plantation on one acre, fruits (citrus, mangoes, pineapples) on the second acre, pastures for feeding the livestock on the third acre, and the fourth acre for food crop growing and in the background, farmers are encouraged to rear poultry (for eggs), piggery and fishing for those near swamps.

Sylivia Nakiwolo, the project co-ordinator and assistant private secretary to the President on value addition, emphasised the project’s goal to provide sustainable alternative incomes for the fishing communities.

She said residents of Buikwe landing sites have for long struggled under restrictive measures on Lake Victoria for catching silver fish (mukene), which has left them with a few alternatives of earning a living.

“The decline in fish stocks has further compounded their difficulties, making it increasingly hard for them to sustain their livelihoods solely through fishing,” Nakiwolo said.

“This programme aims to provide these communities with alternative income-generating activities, seeking to alleviate their economic hardships by offering options beyond fishing, helping them manage their responsibilities and improve their overall quality of life. Today, we are giving them 75,000 fingerlings and about 90 piglets,” she said.

The project targeted 30 groups, with each receiving two gilts and one boar, and the fingerlings were distributed to 12 groups.

“Buikwe was selected as a pilot district for the project, which began last July. The project will expand to Masaka and other areas around Lake Victoria,” Nakiwolo said.

What the community says

Jimmy Kanaabi, the Buikwe LC5 chairperson, thanked President Museveni for choosing the district as a pilot for the fishing project.

He highlighted the enrolment of six sub-counties in the programme, including Najja, Kiyindi, Ngogwe C and parts of Nyenga and Wakiso.

Kanaabi also promised more fishing gear like nets and boat engines, which are costly but essential for sustainable fishing.

To qualify, groups need a certificate from the Community Development Officer (CDO), with State House collaborating with extension workers and CDOs to facilitate this.

The LC1 chairperson of Lugala village, Joseph Walugembe, expressed his gratitude to President Museveni for the project.

He urged beneficiaries to use resources effectively and requested for more support for coffee, avocado and maize to boost incomes.

Annet Kajubi from Senyi landing site praised the wealth creation campaigns led by President Museveni, noting that there has been a significant impact after the distribution of pigs.

LEAD PHOTO CAPTION: Kiwuwa (third-right) and Nakiwolo (second-right) handing over items to members of the fishing communities in Buikwe recently.

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