Mayuge District in partnership with Swisscontact is implementing a 4 year project aimed at promoting food security among cocoa farmers across five selected sub counties of Kityerera, Bukaboli Bukatube, Imanyiro and Buwaya. The project was designed and set to achieve its objectives through; awareness creation, building of partnership linkages, increasing access to recommended/ improved planting materials for key food security crops such as Banana and sweet potatoes, as well as provision of training and advisory services.
It is worth noting that Mayuge was formerly known as a food hub for the entire Busoga sub-region before the adoption of many cash crops; however, farmers abandoned the growing of food crops in favor of cash crops such as sugar cane making it more prone to food insecurity. Accordingly Cocoa farmers are being supported to access food productivity enhancement technologies through input supply as well as provision of training and advisory services. The project is thus promoting use of improved/appropriate technologies that are adaptive to adverse effects of climate change, such as the use of high-yielding and drought-tolerant crop varieties, as well as the disease-resistant planting materials like the orange fleshed sweet potato vines and improved banana suckers/ plantlets.
• Digital profiling of 3801 cocoa farmers in the sub counties of Busakira, Malongo, Kityerera, Bukatube, Imanyiro and Buwaaya.
• 1422 smallholder cocoa farmers have been trained and equipped with practical skills in good cocoa agronomy. Trainings have mainly focused on establishment of cocoa, pruning, pest and disease control, harvesting and postharvest handling practices and marketing for increased incomes.
• Built the capacity of 21 public and private sector agricultural extension workers in cocoa specific extension skills and knowledge.
• Supported 300 cocoa farming households with 15,000 improved banana suckers to set up 100 demonstration and 200 multiplication gardens.
• Mapped 18 Uzima chicken agents and brooders for strategic diversification options for cocoa farmers.
• Conducted 6 radio talk shows to create wider community awareness on basic cocoa agronomic practices, food security interventions among cocoa farmers, availability of planting materials for the orange fleshed sweetpotatoes, opportunities and challenges along the cocoa value chain in mayuge district.
• Trained 300 cocoa farmers in sustainable land use planning and management practices with emphasis to climate smart practices.
The project further plans to:
• Conduct two farmer field days in Kityerera and Imanyiro Sub Counties in September 2022.
• Organize a broad-based cocoa farmers competition while awarding best cocoa value chain actors and farmers in Mayuge District. Farmers applying good agronomic practices in cocoa fields will be awarded.