E-Voucher Success: Ugandan Farmers Call on World Bank for Extension of Agro Input Project

Uganda's Coffee Night
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Farmers, who have been beneficiaries of the E-Voucher system under the Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP), are appealing to the World Bank to renew the project set to conclude in March this year. The appeal was made during a World Bank-MAAIF mission tour of project beneficiaries in Eastern districts, including Bugweri, Kaliro, Mbale, and Kumi.

Implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), the E-Voucher system involved farmers contributing a certain percentage towards the purchase of agro inputs, with the government contributing the larger share. Agro inputs accessed through this system included seeds, herbicides, fertilizers, machinery, tarpaulins, among others. To ensure quality, the system incorporated a list of approved agro input dealers.

Henry Nakalet Opolot, the Commissioner of Extension and Skills Development and coordinator of the ACDP project in the Ministry of Agriculture, highlighted that the $150 million credit facility project from the World Bank, supplemented by a $98 million contribution from farmers and farmer organizations, aimed to enhance on-farm productivity and production for selected commodities like maize, rice, beans, cassava, and coffee in 57 districts across the country.

During the project, Bugweri District Chairman Hajj Sharif Muziransa shared success stories, citing increased crop yields and the construction of farm access roads. Muziransa emphasized that the interventions positively impacted not only agricultural production but also facilitated the delivery of social services such as education and health.

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Rice farmer John Sizomu, benefiting from a newly constructed farm access road, highlighted the reduction in transportation costs for paddy rice. However, he appealed for the road’s widening to accommodate larger vehicles.

Namutosi Lydia, a coffee farmer, expressed concern about the potential discontinuation of the project, as she relied on its support for affordable fertilizers. Similarly, residents of Tisai Island in Kumi district anticipated improved access to services, including health and education, with the completion of a new access road.

Dr. Joseph Oryokot, a Senior Agriculture Specialist from the World Bank, stated that the visit was part of a final assessment mission to evaluate the project’s benefits and assess the sustainability plans of beneficiaries.

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