Catalyzing Economic Empowerment through Cassava Cultivation
The Palaro Sub- County community and Palabek Refugee Settlement in the north of Uganda face significant challenges, including limited access to development initiatives, inadequate infrastructure, and a lack of economic opportunities. These hardships are further compounded by the recent cessation of food rations by the World Food Programme, exacerbating the struggle for food security and sustainable employment, particularly among refugees now living in Uganda. With secured funding from the Challenge Fund, LiMA Farm is poised to empower these communities through an innovative cassava production and processing model. By addressing the urgent need of food security, economic empowerment and livelihood transformation, LiMA Farm aims to bring about tangible change and uplift the spirits of individuals in Northern Uganda particularly Gulu and Lamwo Districts who are in need of support.
“At LiMA farms, our mission is to empower the surrounding community with financial freedom and drive economic growth through sustainable agriculture. With a special focus on women, youth, and individuals from refugee settlements, host communities, and neighbouring areas, we foster inclusive opportunities for employment, ensuring a steady income throughout the year” explains Director of LiMA Farm Jackie Okao.
LiMA Farm’s project centers around mobilizing and empowering the local community surrounding the farm to become cassava outgrowers. This endeavour entails establishing ten farmer groups, comprising 80% refugees and 20% members of the host community. These groups will receive comprehensive support, including support for negotiating access to land, tractor services for efficient land preparation, high-quality cassava seeds, and expert agronomists who will offer guidance on adopting optimal agricultural practices.
Empowering Livelihoods and Promoting Social Cohesion:
By empowering these farmer groups, LiMA Farm aims to enhance their capacity in cassava production. This endeavor not only equips them with essential knowledge and skills but also creates opportunities for increased household incomes. The outgrowers will have the chance to sell their cassava produce at market prices to LiMA Farm and while also utilizing it for their own household consumption.
Furthermore, this initiative fosters collaboration between refugees and members of the host community, promoting social cohesion and unity. By working together towards a common goal, they will not only improve their individual livelihoods but also strengthen the overall fabric of the community.
Inception meeting with refugees and host community group leaders at the Palabek Refugee Settlement. Photo credit: LiMA Farm.
Sustainable Support and Future Growth:
LiMA Farm recognizes the significance of long-term support for the project’s success and sustainability. As part of the initiative, the project in partnership with government agricultural extension workers, will train the out-growers on best agronomy practices, ensuring that the knowledge and skills imparted during the project continue to benefit the community well beyond its duration. By equipping out-growers with expertise in cassava cultivation and processing, the project establishes a sustainable pathway for ongoing support to the larger community. This commitment to capacity building and knowledge transfer guarantees the project’s lasting impact and lays a solid foundation for future growth and development.
Promoting Food Security and Nutrition:
Cassava plays a pivotal role as a staple food in the Northern Uganda and South Sudanese communities, providing vital nutrition to families.
“What sets cassava apart is its gluten-free nature, offering a healthy alternative that mitigates potential risks associated with carcinogenic substances found in other local food options”, Jackie explains.
Recognizing the importance of food security, LiMA Farm’s initiative places great emphasis on cassava cultivation, ensuring a steady supply of this nutritious crop to the community. Supporting cassava cultivation, not only addresses food security but also contributes to improved family nutrition within the community.
“Funding through the Challenge Fund marks a pivotal moment for LiMA Farm’s cassava initiative, instilling a profound sense of optimism within the organization,” Jackie adds. “Beyond the transformative impact this initiative promises for the community, LiMA Farm recognizes the seed funding as a catalyst for exponential growth. With this support, we envisage expanding our reach, unlocking opportunities for an even greater number of individuals within our community.”
The funding serves as a testament to the potential scale and lasting positive change that LiMA Farm aims to achieve, propelling the organization towards its vision of empowering more lives and communities. We look forward to supporting this transformative project and witnessing its contribution to the long-term development of the Palaro community and Palabek Refugee Settlement.
This project is supported by Kyeema through Palladium’s Challenge Fund initiative.