What Farmers Need to Know
The government of the Republic of Uganda adopted the Parish Development Model (PDM) as the vehicle to re-engineer service delivery at grassroots under the National Development Plan (NDPIII). The model is an extension of the whole-of-government approach to development. The parish being the lowest administrative and operational hub for delivering services that will foster local economic development. The PDM emphasizes the spirit of harmonization of government interventions at the lowest point of service delivery. Every Ministry, Department and Agency (MDA) will focus on delivering services closer to the people, and that these services are delivered with measurable results at the parish level. This will ensure transformation of subsistence households into the money economy. However, for this to happen, it will require organized, integrated, well-coordinated and results-based efforts. The PDM, therefore, is the last mile strategy by government to improving the welfare of Ugandans as espoused in the Vision 2040.
This paper has been prepared to provide guidance on how the Parish Development Model as envisaged under NDPIII can utilize services of Farmers Organizations to accelerate development in light of the proposed implementation strategies of the PDM and other government programs for agro-industrialization. The paper is also meant to inform UNFFE and her member organizations and partners on the new government direction as laid down in various models and plans.
The Concept of the Parish Development Model from the Agricultural Perspective
The 3RD National Development Plan (NDPIII) is the third in a series of six NDPs that will guide the nation in delivering the aspirations of the people of Uganda, as articulated in Uganda Vision 2040. The PDM is a vehicle to take service delivery and the whole government to the parish and contribute to bringing the households into commercial economy. Goal of PDM: “Increase household income and improve quality of life”
The introduction of the PDM is a result of a number of reviews of government’s planning. Implementation and results monitoring mechanisms. These included the NDP I End of Term Evaluation and the NDP II Mid-term Review that recommended its adoption. The evaluations identified the strategic role of a parish in improving service delivery, and strengthening production, productivity, value addition and market access for social economic transformation. In line with this recommendation, the NDP III adopted the PDM as a vehicle for increasing household income and welfare. In addition, the comprehensive evaluation of the Decentralization Policy and the review of the NRM Manifesto 2021-2026 all point to the fact that public service delivery should focus on the parish as the unit of development. The PDM is therefore, Government of Uganda’s approach that delivers a package of services in an integrated manner.
From the agricultural perspective, implementation of the PDM is envisaged to entail scaling up investment in on-going initiatives. PDM implementation is premised on the following legal and policy frameworks:
- Article 176,(2b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda
- Third National Development Plan (NDP III)
- The Local Government Act CAP243 specifically section 49, subsections (b, d, e, and f)
- Decentralization Policy, in 1992, and
- Local Economic Development Policy 2014
The Parish Development Model (PDM) is the last mile strategy by Government to deliver services closer to the people. It is an extension of the whole of government approach to development under NDPIII with the parish as the lowest unit for planning, budgeting, delivery of interventions for socio-economic transformation.
The Seven Pillars of PDM
- Production, Storage, Processing and Marketing
- The participation of Parish households in production, storage, processing and marketing of one or more of the 18 priority commodities, the 18 priority commodities are outlined in Annex 2 according to the agro-ecological zones.
- A value chain will be development for the priority commodities at the parish level using the nine agro-ecological zones.
- Dedicated efforts and investments focusing on area-based commodity cluster will concentrate various producers, agribusinesses and institutions that are engaged in the same agricultural commodity or agro-industrial subsector around opportunities, a number of parishes near each other will be grouped together with relevant value chain actors; producers, traders, processors, government, financial institutions etc. to enhance the efficiency of these actors.
- Providing extension and education, business management training, access to finance etc will be provided to enhance technical and managerial skills of the households.
- Providing infrastructure and facilities for primary processing, value addition and marketing including: post-harvest handling, storage, and grading, sorting, bulking, distribution.
2. Infrastructure and Economic Services
- Accessible community roads
- Improvement of choke points/bridges on community roads
- Upgrade community local markets
- Extension of safe water for communities
- Promote the use of e-wallet in communities
- Creation of free internet zones in communities
3. Financial Inclusion
- Under this pillar, PDM will support a wide range of financial solutions (Savings, Credit, Insurance, transfers etc) to subsistence households in order to enhance incomes, smoothen consumption, build assets and reduce vulnerability to shocks.
- There are three components under this pillar i.e. (i) Business development services, (ii) Insurance and (iii) the Parish Revolving Fund. The farmer training needs/BDS will be tailored made and delivered by extensions staff in the local government systems.
- This pillar is aimed at improving access to financial services for households that are currently operating in the subsistence economy (substance households) and equipping them with new skills for enterprise growth, value addition and marketing of their products and services
4. Social Services
- Construct and equip health centre (HCII)
- Recruit critical staff as well as extension workers needed
- Strengthen infrastructure/facilities management
- Provide and maintain safe and accessible water points
- Support functional Village Health Teams (VHT)
- Construct/upgrade community primary schools
- Provide logistics and equipment for institutions (Schools, Hospitals, Health Centres)
5. Mindset change
- Enhance effective mobilization of families, communities and citizens for national development
- Strengthen institutional capacity of central, local government and non-state actors for effective mobilization of communities ; and
- Promote and inculcate the National Vision and value system
How will it work?
- Buy supporting community to identify economic potential within their reach
- Provision of business information of different enterprises
- Conduct community awareness and savings for investment
- Provision of information on benefits of village SACCOs and self-help projects
- Conducting functional adult literacy (FAL)
- Popularization of government programmes
6. Parish Based Management Information Systems
- Automate the process of manual data collections and management
- Provide a source for operational, administrative units and socio-economic profiles
- Provide a platform for tracking the implementation of NDP III strategic interventions
- Provide an electric web based management information system platform for the result-based monitoring and evaluation of the local economic development initiatives
7. Governance and Administration
- Responsible for implementation aspects of the PDM, by providing for coordination and implementing structures as well as functions at national and sub national level
- The national structures will focus at policy formulation and reporting, while sub national level structures provide for operations at frontline
- At the National level, a high-level policy committee, an inter-institutional PDM Technical Committee with associated working groups; and a PDM Secretariat; will be established for effective implementation of the PDM.
How the PDM is envisaged to work
- Effective coordination of PDM implementation by Ministry of Local Government
- Mobilization of stakeholders of non-state actors to support implementation of PDM
- Population of PDM at national and sub national level
- Operationalization of all PDM pillars by allocation of required resources
- Filing all vacant positions for Parish Chiefs in the District
- Operationalization of the PDCs and PMC at parish level
- Increased households’ participation in production, storage, processing and marketing of one priority commodity
- Increased quantities of local products of the 18 priority commodities
- Cluster for Commodity value chain actors (Producer, traders, processors) supported
- Increased household incomes at substance level
- Increase in access to social services (education, health, safe water and water for production)
- Farmers provided with increased access to agricultural extension and education, business management training, access to finance
Structures of PDM
The Parish Development Committees / Ward Development Committees
The adaptation of the PDM will extend, to the parish level, the government approach to development governance (programme-based planning, budgeting and delivery
- Mobilize, sensitize and create awareness on PDM programmes to the community
- Participate in identification of the needs and priorities of the village using participatory approach
- Ensure preparation of Parish Actions Plans and budgets
- Participate in selection of groups and individual to benefit from PDM activities
- Coordinate and support implementation of PDM activities at community level
- Responsible for data collection on PDM activities at community level
- Oversee the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the projects at village level
Farmers Organizations as a framework for implementation of the Pillar for Production, Processing and Marketing (Pillar number one)
At village and parish levels, strengthening farmer institutional development to enable farmer organizations effectively participate in value chains will be main preoccupation of the farmers organizations. The farmers (individuals, groups, associations and cooperatives) shall be organized to form commodity-based clusters along areas of common interest in respective commodity value chains within their villages. The commodity-based clusters will further be mobilized to form commodity leadership structures through farmer committees at village, parish, sub county, district up to regional level with clear representation of the prioritized commodity value chains. The farmer committees at parish (PECs) sub county (SEC) and district level (DEC) will then be linked to other key agricultural support services such as credit and insurance facilities, input supplies, processing facilities and output markets using a variety of extension service delivery models. The mentioned services/actors will become co-opted members of the farmer committees at the different levels aimed at strengthening the networking capacity including efficiency and effectiveness of information flow.
For improved and organized production system, value chain, and marketing functioning, the extension service shall facilitate effective vertical and horizontal relationships and associated processes for a market system that is competitive, inclusive, resilient, and can lift large numbers of rural households from poverty. Farmer structures will coordinate the extension services according to the needs of farmers.
In view of the fact that agriculture is the predominant activity in the rural areas, and the fact that 24.2 per cent of the 39 per cent households living in subsistence economy and being poor are agricultural households (UNHS2016/17). There is need to directly target and prepare/position the very households to play a central role in mobilizing for increased production, processing, storage and marketing under the PDM. The households will therefore, be mobilized and given an equal opportunity to participate in the process of evaluating their status quo with regard to production and profitability of the commodities they are currently engaged in. They will then in a guided process identify workable solutions, which will be translated into a working document at commodity cluster level and a farmer generated development plant at parish level.
The Parish Development Committee shall constitute a special subcommittee of farmers to coordinate and handle matters related to agricultural development. The two farmers to represent the farming community at the parish development committee will be elected by the parish farmer committee and they will use the farmers’ development plan to lobby and advocate for their needs and wants at that level. The agricultural extension staff in the sub county shall technically support the Parish Farmer Committee (PFC). This will ensure that the farmer is at the centre of decision-making in wealth creation initiatives through a well-coordinated farmer structure from village to parish level; and bridge gap between the government agriculture interventions and the smallholder farmers.
Requirements for Successful Implementation of Parish Development Model
Whereas the Parish Development Model is a novel idea that will ensure that a package of government development services are holistically delivered at community level; to spur local economic development, the following must be considered as pre-requisites for successful implementation:
Building strong farmer organizations key to commercializing agriculture: No county has succeeded in transforming her agriculture without investing in establishing strong farmer organization/cooperatives. All government services are made easier and effective to deliver once the communities are well organized. This however, will require a concerted effort by all concerned to innovate, mobilize and construct the farming households into vibrant entities.
Infrastructure support for farmer organizations: Significant investments will be required to support farmer organization in post-harvest handling, storage, primary processing and value addition.
The Parish Development Model concept is a realist development paradigm for socio-economic transformation of rural communities. The colonial and post-independence governments successfully used parishes as the frontlines of service delivery. However, given the changing political and socio-economic landscape, institutional innovations are needed to re-engineer the PDM to spur transformation, in light of the fact that rural economies are dominated by agriculture; public investments in agriculture are pre-requisite for successful implementation of the PDM. Given the description in this paper, agriculture requires implementing her obligations under the PDM; the budget provisions for the sector will have to be revised to the medium term from the current allocation of 3 per cent to about 6 per cent. If the country is to move out of the economic doldrums caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, among others. The role of Farmers Organizations in the implementation of PDM is critical and central to the success of the Model. UNFFE therefore calls upon government and all actors in the implementation of the PDM to rally the support of farmers through their organizations.