Rt. Rev. Wilson Kitara, the Bishop of Kitgum Diocese has applauded the government for the support it’s rendering the Church of Uganda to boost its agricultural projects across the country.
He said this support, which is being channelled through the National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS), will improve the welfare of the clergy, their congregation, and the communities they live in.
He made the remarks while responding to questions from some of the Church of Uganda leaders, who are in the diocese to follow up on the recently commissioned agriculture program.
The program is part of the social-economic transformation project being implemented by the Church with support from NAADS aimed at improving the well-being of religious leaders, and the communities they serve.
Kitara said the project will help in improving the welfare of the clergy who are the grassroots mobilizers in promoting peace, harmonious living and agents of community transformation.
“It is good that our Clergy is going to be more practical and own assets in terms of livestock. This is a step in the right direction towards enhancing income security,” he said, revealing that they received 39 in-calf Friesian heifers and 200 piglets which were distributed to beneficiaries.
He noted that the beneficiaries were first trained in animal husbandry and livestock management.
“This is a big push for Northern Uganda as we recover from the trauma of the two decades of war in the area as people lived in Internally Displaced Camps (IDP Camps). Many people of the current young generation were born in this state and as such have a high dependency syndrome which we need to address through mindset change,” he stated.
He urged the people of Northern Uganda, especially the youth, to spend their time more productively and responsibly and take advantage of the available land to start income-generating ventures.
“We are blessed with land as a natural resource; therefore laziness should not be the reason for our failure to reduce poverty,” he said.
Josephine Ninsiima, the Program Assistant in the Directorate of Household and Community Transformation in the Church of Uganda, noted that they (beneficiaries) have a critical role to play in the success of this project and are also determinant on whether other dioceses will benefit depending on how they steer this pilot phase.
Ninsiima led a team of technical people from the government to train beneficiaries in agronomic practices.
She said a detailed sensitisation of the project was already done and re-echoed the need for transparency and trust the government has put in the Church to steer one of the critical government agendas of mindset change.
“You are doing this for God. As religious leaders, you were chosen because in the communities you live and serve, you are role models. When you do what is right, you set the right precedence and path for people to follow. We want to see a multiplication effect happen in our communities for Socio-economic transformation, “she said.