DIRECTORATE OF EPICENTER STRATEGY ACHIEVEMENTS
A total of 34 Epicenter Managers are supporting the epicenter strategy and four (4) projects are implemented by the directorate which includes: Prevention and Screening Innovation Project towards Elimination of Cervical Cancer (PRESCRIP-TEC), Pupil Managed School Farm Project, Empowerment of Small Scale Farmer Families through Resilient Democratic Rural Organisation, Organic Agriculture, Market Access and Advocacy-Program and FOR A NEW FOREST FAUNA-RIPERIAN POPULATIONS BALANCE IN UGANDA (FOFAUPOP)
Community action planning in play
A total of 514 homes in 12 Sub-Counties have well-articulated visions and defined action steps to realize their shared vision set during the visioning/planning meetings at the household levels, these show a sense of direction.
Social capital among the 120 groups in 16 Sub-Counties has been built and these include farmer groups, rotational saving and credit associations, social networks and partnerships have been established. The group members have been able to improve on their wellbeing through; increased household items through Mary-Go Round associations.
Group members sharing household items
Household member drawing a vision
Ecosystem restoration in play
Agroforestry proved to be a climate resilience technology among the farmer family learning groups (FFLG) for example; 29 Households belonging to the Farmer Family Learning group of Kigunda B Tukurakuranne in Pachwa Sub-County have experienced sustainable production of Cocoa fruits and Vanilla beans, Honey, and medicinal shrubs in Agroforestry farms compared to non-members without agroforestry practices. This has been as a result of planting leguminous trees and shrubs in agroforestry family farms, this has reduced soil erosion, acted as a Carbon sink that absorbs carbon dioxide gas during photosynthesis, and stores it in form of Carbon. The group members have observed a positive interaction between wild, domestic birds and animals, insects, and macro organisms in the soil thus increasing Ecological diversity and production at the FFLG household farms.
Pupils collecting fire wood within the agroforestry garden
Pupil learning the fertilization of vanilla
Daily Farm operational costs on weeding crops, time spent by children loitering around the village while collecting firewood has been reduced. Animal droppings as Organic farm Yard Manure have made Cocoa-pods shine and look healthier which has also improved the Fertility of the soil.
The 78 farmers among other Sub Counties are involved in Organic Farming Methods like mulching crop rotation and Green-Manuring, leading to improved soil fertility and productivity.
Rural community transformation
With knowledge and skills gained about having cooperatives and their importance among farmers, Nyakasheema Cooperative society Limited in Ruteete Sub County was registered at the National level with technical support from URDT. Two more Cooperative societies (Kaisolya Twetungure, Farmers, and Mirembe Organic Farmers) are processing registration. It is intended to promote and ease collective marketing of organic products for better prices, easy access to extension services, funding, and better bargaining power among farmers.
A total of 1478 farmer group members benefited from the Agriculture Cluster Development Program (ACDP) under the mobilization of Epicenter Managers as community-based facilitators in the 10 Sub Counties. ACDP is a Government program that supports farmers in organized groups where an individual farmer contributes 33% of UGX 450,000=
A total of nine schools were able to harvest 6 tons of maize and beans during the lockdown from the school farms, part of the harvests was used by the school to prepare food for primary seven-candidate pupils when they resumed for the second term while the balance was re-invested in the second season. This shows that the pupil-managed school farm project is embraced.
A total of 150 pupils and family members have nutritious meals and improved income through increased production and productivity from back home projects that covered 30 acres of land. This has been as a result of training on enterprise selection, farming as a business, and agronomic practices by the Epicenter Managers at school before the lockdown.
The 5 women groups that benefited from the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Program (UWEP) received a total of UGX 27,000,000. UWEP is an initiative by the government of Uganda to improve women’s access to financial services (interest-free loans) to equip them with skills for enterprise growth, value addition, and marketing of their products and services. The Epicenter Managers together with the Community Development Officers mobilized, trained, and guided the groups to register.
Based on their level of performance and professional growth, 10 Epicenter Managers have been recruited on contract by the districts of Kagadi and Kibaale to work as Community Based Facilitators (CBFs) under the Agriculture Cluster Development Program (ACDP) within their epicenters while 14 are recruited at the district level to support the Young Africa Work Program (YAW) that is implemented by URDT Institute in Bunyoro, Toro and parts of Buganda regions.