Household income increment among ERIGNU farmers of Northern Uganda

A vibrant rural agricultural sector is essential to the growth of other non farm sectors because of the large dependence on it for food security and employment, due to the fact that most of the rural households do earn a big percentage of their income from agriculture. Narratives around poverty, hunger, food security and nutrition largely subsumed in the food system, are intrinsically linked to the development of the rural economy. The rural economic structure is constantly being re shaped by many factors, eg, forces of urbanization, markets, livelihood opportunities, changes in land use patterns and the inherent social demographic structure of the villages.

The reliance on agriculture as the main source of livelihood in the Northern rural areas of Uganda has been on a decline due to the many challenges faced by the rural farmers , eg , unreliable climatic conditions, pests and diseases, market scarcity, decline in soil fertility among others. Amidst all these challenges, the rural dwellers have to mainly depend on agriculture for their survival.
The logical question therefore ensues, “How can one increase agricultural income earning opportunities in the rural areas such that it increases food security and welfare of the rural population?”

The ERIGNU project implemented by  in the Northern rural areas of Northern Uganda has given various answers to the above question. The deployment of Information and communication technologies powered by  among the rural farmers has played a big role in simplifying the agricultural life of  many farmers in the Northern part of Uganda handling challenges like market scarcity, pests and diseases, unreliable climatic conditions among others using the ERIGNU  mobile application. The  ICT web based system has given options for land mapping and also creating a “question and answer” based forum where farmers can make enquiries about any challenges they are facing to agricultural experts.
This has played a big role in solving many problems faced by the rural farmers.

The involvement of the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) in the project brought in the best farming practices enabling farmers to fully utilize the available land in order to increase household incomes, the good farming practices has also played a big role in improving soil fertility in the already degrading farm lands.
The introduction of new researched green gram and rice quality seeds to the farmers also came with their advantages, eg, being drought resistant, being short duration crops, giving farmers a chance to fully maximize their incomes within short periods of time.

The integration of ICTs and new researched modern quality seeds in the northern rural areas of Northern Uganda by with support from NWO WOTRO, has greatly played a big role in solving the agricultural challenges faced by the rural farmers hence greatly improving on their livelihoods. If these practices were to be extended to other regions of the country, the national economy largely depending on agriculture would surely increase.


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