Under Sustainable livelihoods, we recognizes that in order to succeed in in our mission to end poverty and injustice, we must first ensure that people leaving in poverty in a human rights perspective can meet their basic food needs and that their livelihoods are secure from environment shocks. In doing this, our interventions focus on fixing on the long-term progress and well-being of our target rights holders.
To achieve this, our actions and programs focus on improving food security and fostering resilience to climate change, conflict prevention and peace building, emergencies response and livelihood recovery. We further commit to promoting land rights, access to markets and seed security for the small holder farmers. We work and resolve issues around urban poverty and youth unemployment through investing directly in future generations through integration of development approaches that give youth, small holder farmers a voice to provide leadership and entrepreneurship opportunities, and prepare them to seize those opportunities.
In addition, we strengthen local, national and international collaborations around the identified areas to leverage bigger voice of small holder farmers to engage in agriculture and livelihood policy formulation, implementation and monitoring for attainment of sustained livelihoods
For a livelihood to be sustainable, our program focus is divided into the following components;
Currently, we are working with over 5000 small holders in districts of Kapchorwa, Kumi, Katakwi, Amuru, Pader, Palisa and Masindi supporting initiatives that; enhance household food production, marketing and diversification of income sources as well as integrating climate change resilience among the vulnerable communities.
2. Institutional Strengthening & Networking for livelihood, agriculture policy and land rights; We Support organisations, networks and groups of women, youth and smallholder farmers at all levels to increase their voices in policy formulation, implementation and monitoring initiatives on climate change, conflict resolutions, emergencies response, agricultural financing and trade to realise their rights to sustainable livelihoods. We are currently involved in national policy and campaigning on the following critical agriculture policies;
-Agriculture Financing; driven by the fact that there is limited public investments to agriculture sector and working in partnership with PACONET, TAC and CSBAG, we are running national level advocacy towards achieving increased resource allocation to agriculture and seeking alternative financing options to support small holder farmers through creation of farmer led agriculture banking system that will support farmers with cheap agriculture credit.
-Reforming the agriculture extension systems in Uganda; working with Food Rights Alliance, we recognise that the current extension systems being implemented by NAADs has several gaps that need to be addressed in order to improve its capacity to meet the needs of small holder farmers and therefore we are actively engaged in the ongoing national reform process to transform NAADs in to a single spine extension system
-Promoting seed and land rights and securing farmers rights to safe and secure seed. In doing this, we are involved in national engagements on the draft bill on biotechnology and biosafety. A bill that seeks to introduce genetically modified crops/organisms to the farming communities
-Building Resilience to disasters, climate change and emergences response; we build and strengthen the capacity of women, youth and smallholder farmers in adaptation measures, alternative livelihood, agricultural marketing conflict prevention and peace building through early warning and early response systems, emergencies response, resource mobilization, diversifying livelihood sources, market information and post-harvest handling;
-Urban Poor, women and youth unemployment; We Support organisations working with urban poor in Kawempe division to mobilise urban youth, women and men to monitor delivery of public services and demand for improvement. Currently we partner with MAWDA to create and initiate sustainable Income Generating activities that support poor women in the slums of Bwaise in Kawempe Division- Kampala
In achieving our goals, our interventions are guided by the following approaches;
Our strategy on livelihoods Sustainable is linked Actionaid Theory of change that promote livelihoods interventions that strive to change the condition and position of people living in poverty, discrimination and exclusion as it provides opportunity and means for them to secure the basic necessities of life -food, water, shelter and clothing in a sustainable way. The major thrust for sustainable livelihoods is to increase the sustainability of poor people’s livelihoods by strengthening their capacities to tap into existing resources and to respond to opportunities and risks, minimise vulnerability and maintaining, smoothing or improving wellbeing. This is premised on the Actionaid Uganda’s understanding that access to basic necessities of life, in a sustainable, way is a cornerstone for empowerment, a prerequisite and an outcome of effective engagement for those living in poverty.
Our strategy has focused on enhancing capacities of people living in poverty to draw on their assets to respond to opportunities and risks, minimising vulnerability and maintaining or improving wellbeing by adopting alternative livelihood strategies. This has been achieved through provision of startup support for communities living in distress conditions. At the same time, we have enhanced the power of the farmers to engage with the policy formulation processes at local, national and international levels. We have focused our energies at strengthening capacities and creating spaces for women, men and youth’s farmers and urban poor to monitor and hold to account those who have a duty to provide the needed public support for improved livelihoods.
Impact of our work
Our interventions have achieved the following impact;
-Improving livelihoods, better ecological production practices and resilience to climate change
- In 2013, we provided 1,171 farmers (including 732 women) with alternative livelihoods support kits including oxen to plough land; appropriate planting material and seeds for peanuts, cassava, orange-fleshed sweet potato, sorghum and cowpea; heifers, goats and heifers for milk, chicken, bee keeping among others. As a result, farmers have reported increased acreage of land cultivated with food and timely planting, with production estimated to have grown by 40% in the reporting period, and marketable surplus having increased by an estimated 33%. Working collectively, farmers have been able to negotiate for higher prices having received on average 27% higher prices compared to open market prices
- We have also supported collective initiatives of 15 groups representing an estimated 3,017 farmers and women living in urban poverty through community revolving seed schemes, collective marketing, establishment of VSLAs and SACCOs. Three of these have been supported with grants to enhance access to credit by the members. At the sametime, we have built capcity of the leaders of these groups and selected members in various areas including group dynamics, establishment and management of collectives, how to develop and effectively implement business plans, credit and saving management, capital mobilisation, record keeping among other areas
Engagement with the review of the National Extension systems
Working through the Food Rights Alliance, we have engaged closely with the ministry to contribute to the new program approach that will be soon piloted. The new approach takes into considerations most of the issues highlighted in the regional meetings including bringing on board the traditional extension workers and the issue of facilitation. For example, in preparation for the implementation of the new approach, the government has already procured and distributed close to 700 motorcycles to various sub counties across the country for the extension workers.
Campaigning for increased investments to agriculture;
Throug PFA project, At local level, in target districts (Palisa and Katakwi) due to the project influencing actions, budget allocation to agriculture has increased between 8-10% at district level, 50-60% at sub county level. While at national level, agriculture sector received 9 billion shillings budget increase compared to last financial year, from 394 billion to 403 billion. Although compared to other sectors, the sector received decline in % budget allocation to 3.2% of the national resource envelope. However, while we strongly discourage supplementary budgets by government in the middle of the financial year as they promote budget indiscipline, distortions and theft! In February 2014, government requested for a supplementary budget for the agriculture sector amounting to Ushs 2bn specifically for a cross breeding programme in Western Uganda and Ushs 16.7bn for control of the banana wilt disease. We welcome this development as this is the first time in the recent past to consider providing supplementary spending to agriculture compared to security and state house budgets!!
In addition, Through our engagements; , while presenting alternative budget proposals last year, we recommended that government establishes an agriculture bank to support agriculture financing. We are glad that that in October 2013, Parliament granted leave to the Shadow Member of Parliament to draft a private members bill to establish an agriculture and land bank and in addition, Cabinet in February 2014 also resolved to have establish an agriculture bank to boost commercial farming and ease access to credit, especially for small-scale farmers.
Engagements on biosafety and biotechnology bill, seed policy and farmer rights
Researches and knowledge
-. Fertile yet fragile: An assessment of the progress in implementing Uganda Agriculture Development Strategy and Investment plan (DSIP) 2010/11-2014/15; May 3013
- Walking the Talk: An assessment of the CAADP, Progress and challenges- November 2013
- The cooperative movement and the challenge of development; December 20113
-WORIA 2 end of Project evaluation and Value chain Study; October 2013
-Agriculture financing and sector performance in Uganda; Case study of donor funded projects
- Women Empowerment study in Amuru- October 2013
- PFA project baseline study; March 2013
- SFR project baseline study, February 2013
- Policy brief; Climate financing in local government: gaps and recommendations