President Yoweri Museveni has expressed optimism that the poverty eradication and job creation initiative, Parish Development Model (PDM), will make unemployment, history in Uganda.
While officiating at the International Labour Day celebrations at Kololo Independence Grounds on Sunday, Museveni said that if embraced by the Ugandan population, and well implemented, the PDM will create more jobs than Ugandan people, which will require importation of labour.
“The importance of the Parish Development Model… it has already taken some root, for instance in Lwengaju parish, I sent people there. You find each family employing 15 people in a small scale commercial agriculture of only one acre. Uganda has got 43 million people. If you take an average that there are 5 people in a home, that means, there are 9 million families. Let us assume that 5 million of them have land. If each one of these 5 million listens to our message, and goes into this small scale commercial farming with calculation, even if he employs 10 people each, that is 50 million jobs,” Museveni explained.
He added, “We shall have many more jobs here that we shall have no people to do them. We will have more jobs than the population. If we do this, we shall have more jobs than people, and we shall have to import labour from other countries.”
In order for this to work, Museveni said government has already put in place mechanisms such as infrastructure, the roads, railway and electricity, peace among other tools.
Museveni launched the Parish Development Model (PDM) in Kibuku District, Bukedi Sub-region in February this year.
The Parish Development Model aims at helping people from parish level to increase their household incomes and joining the money economy.
It is an extension of the-whole-of government approach to development as envisaged under the National Development Plan III, with the parish as the lowest administrative and operational hub for delivering services closer to the people and hence fostering economic development.
The PDM aims to lift 39% of Uganda’s population from subsistence to money economy and has seven pillars of; Production, Storage, Processing and Marketing; Infrastructure and Economic Services; Financial Inclusion; Social Services; Mindset change; Parish Based Management Information System; and Governance and Administration.
In its maiden year, the government has fronted the third pillar of financial inclusion (revolving fund) as a flagship for the PDM and subsequently invested 17 million shillings for each parish as revolving fund.
In the next financial year, Museveni said, 17 million will be increased to 100 million shillings.
“This financial year, we are sending 17 million shillings to each parish, but in the next budget, we want to send 100 million to each parish; the budget coming in July (2022). And the money will be sent to the SACCO, and it will be the SACCO leadership elected by SACCO members, the farmers who are members of the SACCO, to decide who should get first, and where they will buy materials,” the President said.
“So, this bureaucracy of NAADS is out now. The who to get, and where to buy will be done by the leadership of the SACCO elected by the SACCO members themselves. The money will go the stakeholders themselves, it will go to their account,” he added.
Meanwhile, the President noted that Uganda is able to create 50 million jobs in agriculture alone.
He, however, said that if there is agriculture, one must process what is produced, adding that otherwise, it will be a “problem.”
“Growing and then processing; there is pressure to have more processing capacity. If you go through Luweero, you will see a lot of pineapples, there is now pressure for processing. Coffee, pressure for processing, even the tea. So, production in agriculture will require processing, and that will create more jobs in the factories, and transport. All the sectors will expand. Therefore, take this idea of Parish Development Model very important, and we can change Uganda this time,” he said.
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