Most of the borrowers from the Grandma Microfinance are in agribusiness. The center is going to focus on attitude change in the first place. There is, therefore, a need to have a combined effort to transform our communities from Subsistence farming to Commercial farming using a village model. Our center serves that purpose and it is going reverse the trend of backwardness. Over 72% of Ugandans live and work in rural areas, these are largely smallholder farmers who engage in peasant farming for home consumption (okukolera ekidda kyonka).
The 2014 National Population and Housing Census found that 68.9% of Ugandans (that is, seven in every 10 Ugandans) engaged in subsistence farming with hardly any surplus for the market. According to the census, out of the 6.9 million homesteads in Uganda doing farming, 4.8 million produced entirely for their own consumption. For such families, any marketable surplus comes as a surprise.
Therefore, since on average every family in Uganda has five members, it follows that over 24 million people are living outside the monetised economy. For example, in Bumwena parish, Malongo sub-county in Mayuge district, out of a total of 6,894 homesteads, 6,454 (94%) were found by census enumerators as working for ekidda kyonka. Directly translated from Lugwere, ekidda kyonka means working for the stomach (in other words subsistence).
Similarly, in Labala parish, Pabo sub-county in Amuru district, 3,454 of the 3,675 homesteads in the parish were subsistence farmers. Only eight homesteads practised commercial farming.
The situation is worse in Karambi parish, Nyarubuye sub-county in Kisoro district. Out of 2,635 homesteads in the parish, 2,513 (95%) were in subsistence farming and the remaining 122 homesteads were engaging in other activities other than agriculture. None of the families were practising commercial agriculture.
The majority of Ugandans in all regions (central, eastern, northern and western Uganda) work
so hard, some few even practise commercial farming, but cannot determine the return on their sweat or even investment (ekibalo, cura is not done).
So our solution is to work in line with the government parish model to scale up efforts to provide incentives and support to smallholder farmers to use their land more productively so as to boost household incomes, escape from poverty and set in motion the industrial revolution.
Our overall goal is to raise household incomes so as to improve the welfare of our members and boost the purchasing power needed for the growth of the domestic market.