Karamoja sub-region is one of the poorest regions in the country, and is the worst affected by climate change especially drought. The general agricultural constraints in Karamoja include increasing population as communities resettle due to the improved security.
According to the Food Security and Nutrition Assessment in Karamoja Sub Region in 2017, food security classification indicated that 46% of the households in Karamoja were food insecure and 8% severely insecure. These findings showed an improvement from the analysis conducted by the Monitoring & Evaluation Unit in July 2016. The July 2016 report indicated that half of the population in Karamoja was food insecure, of which 12% were found to be severely food insecure, and with a significant deterioration in Kaabong, Kotido, Napak & Abim districts.
According to speci c Nutrition studies, Napak, is one of the districts most affected by the low food supply. Malnutrition or inadequate dietary intake in Napak District is due to limited availability and access to food and dietary diversity as a result of decline in crop yield caused by, poor farming methods, poor quality seeds, crop diseases, and also adverse weather variations among others. An added element of this is that the foods that households frequently consume are relatively deficient in micronutrients. Seasonality in food production, variable food prices and seasonal earning patterns lead to the instability and poor quality of the diet the household consumes throughout the year. These result into low agricultural production and productivity at household levels, contributing to increased poverty, food insecurity, low productivity and even finally death.
After releasing all this, Project Inception Meetings with district and lower local government and other development partners were conducted. The respective leaders were sensitized to improve their understanding of the project. The stakeholders were also consulted and involved in planning on how to implement the current project for better results. Project of cers also attended meetings organized by the Sub County Local Government at the sub county level. During these meetings, partners shared their intervention areas, Work plans, Budgets, experiences, challenges and Successes.
These community level meetings were conducted in the villages of Ariamaokot, Lomaratoit, and Morusapir, in Iriiri parish and Akore village in Tepeth parish, all of which were considered basing on their being in the
previous project operation area. The Sub County Local Government of cials, local leaders and community elders were as well involved in these meetings. A total of 100 households were selected, and grouped into 4 farmer groups or training groups composed of 25 households/beneficiaries. This was for more effective management.
Assorted agriculture inputs were purchased and distributed in the rst season to 100 household farmers selected as bene ciaries for year one. The seeds and farm tools purchased and distributed to 100 household farmers included cassava cuttings, bean seeds, vegetables like tomatoes, cabbages, onions. The lead farmers received slashers, watering cans, pangas, lining ropes for use in demonstration gardens during trainings. Green manure / cover crop was also purchased for demonstration gardens.
Different categories of persons in project communities were trained by PAG in Church and Community Mobilization (CCM) these included included Lead farmers, local community leaders, local church leaders, parish chiefs and the LC3 of the sub county. To date the Bible is still being used as the tool to enable them have an insight on their communities and come up with ways of creating resilience and changes in their communities.
Farmers were followed up and it was found that some of them had put to practice the skills provided by the project of cers during the trainings. In these follow up visits, it was observed that at least a
number of farmers had adopted good agronomic practices in growing crops, planting crops in rows, intercropping using cover crops like beans, soya, and vegetables were planted using the recommended spacing rate. This still encourages both women and men to actively participate in all the project activities.
Right from their selection, the bene ciaries have continued to diligently participate in all project activities. They always endeavor to attend the trainings and participate actively. This active participation in trainings is due to hands on trainings, and use of lead farmers purposely selected from within their communities. The lead farmers manage the demonstration gardens well, and also share their increased knowledge with other bene ciary farmers, as well as members of the general community.
Environmental conservation is a key priority in this project. Communities through passed experiences have embraced preserving the vegetation, trees and the soil so as to prevent the dangers and effects of environmental degradation that result from the common bad practices in the communities like; cutting down trees for wood and charcoal, bush burning, leaving the soil bear when ploughing. Communities are planting trees, reducing bush burning.