Jane’s story: Giving back to the communityJane, 32, is a Ugandan from Alere – one of the settlements in Adjumani district that hosts refugees. Through the Support Programme to the Refugees and Host Communities in Northern Uganda (SPRS-NU) programme, DRC mobilized the community to form livelihoods groups consisting of both refugees and members of the local hosts community.
With the implementation of this project, DRC’s aim was to collaborate with landlords who would lend their land to groups to use for various livelihood activities. Jane volunteered to give 20 acres of arable land to 4 livelihoods groups. Today. Jane regards it as a blessing to herself and to the community at large. Jane is among 5 landlords who willingly offered their land to be used by the livelihoods groups.
“I was very happy for the transparency exhibited by DRC, therefore, during the formation of the groups, I promised to offer 20 acres of arable land for the groups to farm” - says Jane.
She inherited over 50 acres of land from her parents, but had no interest in farming. She became a fishmonger at the age of 16 and since then, she would sell fish to her community but did not earn much from it. She got inspired and used the opportunity to practice farming to increase her household income.
“Later in 2018, these groups offered me 150 kilograms of groundnuts. I planted them in 5 acres of land and harvested 999 kilograms. I then sold 720 kilograms to CORIM Ltd. and earned 4 million Ugandan Shillings. I reserved 150 kilograms for seeds and 102 kilograms for household use” - says Jane.
“From the 2 million Ugandan Shillings I earned, I construction a small house for my boys and invested the rest in my retail business that generates income for my savings, school fees for my children, and other basic needs” - continues Jane.
“I have also benefited from the ERI/PAED (Enabling Rural Innovation/Participatory Agroenterprise Development) training. As a farmer trained in ERI/PAED, I set myself a target to offer at least 10 more acres of land to those groups by the end of 2020 to increase their productivity and their household income level, as well as to increase my productivity and household income for self-reliance” - she concluded.
Before venturing into farming, Jane was a fishmonger. She is now a fulltime commercial farmer and a small-scale retailer, a great transformation and opportunity for her and her family. She now makes enough money to take care of her family single-handedly- paying her child’s school fees and her husband’s tuition fee in a tertiary institution. She hopes to continue offering productive land as a generous contribution to her community.
FACTS ABOUT THE PROJECT:
Danish Refugee Council is in a consortium with ZOA, Ceford, and Save the Children implementing the Support Programme to the Refugee Settlements and Host Communities in Northern Uganda (SPRS-NU). This programme is funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF). In Adjumani refugee settlement, 244 livelihoods groups were formed comprising of 3,050 refugees and 3,050 host community members. These livelihoods groups received various trainings, for example, the Enabling Rural Innovation/Participatory Agroenterprise Development (ERI/PAED) training, quality farm inputs training, climate-smart agriculture training, and Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) training. They also received support to form linkages with the private sector and form producers associations to promote income generation.