Small-scale farmers in Amuru and Gulu petition local government leaders
Since 2018, small-scale farmers in Amuru and Gulu districts have been engaging their local leaders over the few extension workers most especially Entomologists at sub-county levels and low budget allocations to the Marketing and Production departments. Small-scale farmers in 2019 petitioned the local government leaders. In their petition, the farmers who hail from Lamogi, Amuru and Pabbo sub-counties in Amuru district, as well as Bungatira and Laroo in Gulu district, expressed dissatisfaction over the quality and poor timing of planting materials distributed by Operation Wealth Creation (OWC).
In September 2019, small scale farmers in Amuru and Gulu districts held their first of the kind strategizing dialogues on grassroots advocacy. It was during these meetings that farmers petitioned the local leaders. During the meeting in September, an advocacy road map was developed. The leaders agreed to share budget documents with the farmers’ budget focal teams, informing small-scale farmers through the focal teams on local government budget development conferences in time and committed support to farmers’ focal members in their grassroots advocacy. Later in February 2020, small scale farmers further engaged their local leaders during the follow-up meetings on the strategizing road map implementation progress at Lamogi and Laroo sub-counties in Amuru and Gulu districts respectively after a reflection on the NBPF FY2020/21.
The farmers’ petition was as a result of the awareness and capacity built of small scale farmers on grassroots advocacy. This was during the farmers’ budget dialogue held in March 2019 in Kampala. It was thought that this expertise was to increase farmers’ involvement and influencing Local Government budget service delivery issues and processes in their respective districts.