Maize growing has topped the list of agricultural enterprise practices in various parishes across Luwero district, a survey conducted ahead of the implementation of the Parish Development Model-PDM has revealed.
Last month, Luwero district deployed 386 data collectors equipped with smartphones to collect basic information in 101 parishes about households under the Parish Based Management Information System ahead of the implementation of the PDM program.
The data collectors were among others tasked to collect information on enterprises that are practiced in parishes so as to determine the necessary interventions and funding. The exercise has since concluded ahead of the release of Shillings 100 million to each parish to kick start the program.
Findings of the survey released by Dr. Andrew Kidda Makubuya, the Luwero District PDM Coordinator show that households in at least 76 parishes indicated that they grow maize, 66 parishes grow coffee whereas bananas are grown in 51 parishes.
However, the report fell shot of revealing the acreage of the crops or the amount of production. It reported that the majority are subsistence farmers. Dr. Makubuya said the survey has given them a clear picture of what is grown and by who so as to determine how to help such farmers boost production.
He explained that in the earlier programs, planning was left at the district level but there were no statistics on the exact areas that specifically grow certain crops.
Edward Zziwa, the Chairperson of Luwero District Production and Natural Resources Committee has welcomed the survey findings, saying that the district should now make interventions based on people’s desired enterprises rather than those they are not interested in.
Zziwa says that earlier government programs, which include Operation Wealth Creation failed to create an impact because people were given inputs in enterprises that they were not interested in.
Samuel Musoke, a maize farmer in Luwero sub-county, said that although maize is widely grown, there are still challenges in post-harvest handling and they hope the government through PDM will help them to improve.
Joseph Mukasa, a farmer in Katugo parish in Luwero sub-county, says he still prefers to receive inputs so as to increase production. Other maize farmers decried prolonged drought, which affects production, and asked for small-scale irrigation plants to overcome the challenge.
Due to the increase in maize growing, at least 52 maize mills have been set up in town councils and trading centers in Luwero, according to the PDM survey. At least 1848 groups have been registered to benefit from PDM and Shillings 809 million disbursed so far to parishes to kick start the program.