Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Agriculture has announced that all its departments will replicate a 4P model used in the production of Palm Oil in order to increase productivity.
The 4P model consists of Public, producer, Private Partnership, which engages the farmer, government, funders and private developers in the productivity chain where each is left with a mandate to enable any agribusiness to thrive.
The 4P model was applied in Kalangala to bring together 1,300 oil palm outgrowing farmers, the Government of Uganda through the Vegetable Oil Development Project, the funders from the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Private partners who include oil Palm Uganda Limited.
Under this model, a funder offers loans with limited or no interest to farmers to clear gardens, plant and look after the gardens with the help of the government extension workers who advise farmers with the best farming methods. The private partner is also secured to offer a ready market for the produce.
For instance, in the oil palm sector, the government instituted a vegetable oil development project which secured funds for farmers from the International fund for agricultural development which supported farmers with no-interest loans. Later, Oil Palm Uganda Limited was put in place to ensure that all palm oil fruits are bought for processing and sent to Bidco-Uganda Limited for production of Palm Oil Products.
Solomon Kalema, the Communications and Knowledge Development Officer for the Ministry of Agriculture says that in this way, farmers will be assured of the best farming methods and ready market for their produce.
This adoption of the 4P model into the entire sector, is part of the Annual agriculture sector review that is also being undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries.
The model will majorly be instituted in areas with cash crops which include tea, cotton, coffee and other crops like rice and simsim which are grown on a large scale. Currently, the program has been adopted in the Bulambuli rice scheme.
The Ministry also seeks to implement such a model in the fisheries sector to ensure that all fishermen acquire legally accepted fishing gear.
“The farmers have severally been struggling to have good farming practices. They have also been struggling with fluctuating prices neither do they have a ready market for the produce. The 4P model accomplishes and caters for all these. It has been tested and helped in the improvement of the agricultural practices in Kalangala,” says Anthony Wanyoto, the communications officer of the National Oil Palm Program.
The model, according to the Minister of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries Vincent Ssempijja, will supplement the Agriculture Cluster Development project that seeks to conduct a national farmer’s census to know the number of people engaging in Agriculture across the country.
Julius Opondo, a member of the Agriculture committee of parliament says that there is a dire need for a program that enables farmers to have enough resources for the cultivation cycle.
“Programs such as NAADs and operation wealth creation should work with the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that all farmers can get resources to look after their gardens since most farmers have been failing to succeed only because of the lack of resources to look after their different agriculture projects,” Says Opondo.