By: Nelson Kukundakwe
Project Affected Persons Households (PAP HHs) in the Bunyoro sub-region identify cassava as one of the commodities with a greater comparative advantage in poverty eradication in the greater region.
This comes after Living Earth Uganda(LEU) rolled out the Agricultural Support Services project, which aims to restore the livelihoods of those who were affected by the development of oil and gas developments in the sub-region. LEU is implementing the project in three major enterprises, namely: crop improvement services, tree nursery improvement (silviculture) services, livestock improvement services and general extension services.
The majority of PAHs in Bunyoro derive their livelihood from subsistence crop farming, notably cassava, maize, and sweet potatoes, which are the most important components of the food basket, with cassava constituting the largest proportion.
From this year's pre-season planning meetings, at least 2850 PAHs chose crop and, in particular, casava as their enterprise. Many who received and planted the high yielding casava last year await with high hopes for a bumper harvest at the end of the season.
Keleto Ameliana, together with Living Earth Uganda staff at her casava garden in Kijumbya village in Bulisa district
Keleto Ameliana, is the mother of five and a resident of Kijumbya, Bulisa district.
She chose Casava Growing because she believed it could easily generate income while also feeding her five children.
"As a woman, I chose casava because it is high-yielding, profitable, and it allows me time to attend to my normal chores because I have a family to care for." Keleto narrated as we navigated through her half-acre casava garden.
Geoffrey Avuni at her casava garden in Kijumbya village in Bulisa district
Geoffrey Avuni, a resident of the same village, also a father of five, lost his structure to pave the way for the construction of an access road. He is optimistic that Casava will restore his income and that of his household.
He notes that the high-yielding NAROCAS 1 is "promising looking at the lush green canopy of its leaves and the ground-breaking tubers."
"I hope that by the end of this year, I will have a huge harvest, but my ultimate target is to have more casava cuttings to plant for the next season," says Avuni.
NAROCAS1 is a high-yielding improved variety of cassava that is high on nutrition, and matures faster than the indigenous variety.
The Agriculture Support Supervision Project (AgriSSP) targets a total of 3,990 households (4901 PAPs), whereby 1,808 households will receive general level support and 2,182 households will receive intensive level support by the close of the project.