By Esther Namirimu
JINJA - Buwagi Alinikila Farmers Group (BAFG) in Jinja received a financial boost of sh5m from Busoga Twegaite International USA Chapter on Saturday.
The grant is aimed at helping Basoga people fight poverty and improve their standards of living.
Andrew Mwase, the president of Busoga Twegaite International said that the Basoga in the Diaspora are working hard to change the image of Busoga through fighting poverty in the region.
“If there is a Basoga group organized enough and is ready to fight poverty, we shall give them capital,” he pledged..
Mwase said that this money is collected by the Basoga living abroad because they want to help improve the welfare of their tribe-mates living in Uganda.
Robert Mubangizi, the coordinator for Twegaite Uganda Chapter said that the group wants to develop Busoga through projects like farming, improving education and health system.
He also advised BAFG to work harder if they need more capital.
The farmers group’s chairperson, Betty Baligema, said that in 2010, President Yoweri Museveni visited the group and gave them sh10m which they added into their farming projects.
“We used some of that money to buy 300 plastic chairs for rent and 300 plates to supplement our source of income,” she said.
The group leader said that in the same year, Veronica Wabukawu from Twegaite International USA Chapter gave them sh2m to add into their capital, which they used to grow bananas and vegetables.
“In 2011, National Agriculture Advisory Services [NAADS] gave us 180 banana suckers which we planted on the land offered by Wilson Ibanda, a group member,” she said.
Through the group’s savings, they now have seven university graduates and they are looking even further.
The group is now building modern houses with roof tiles.
“Last season the whole group harvested 15 tonnes [15,000kg] of coffee and we sold each kilogram at sh4000 and distributed the money depending on how much coffee each person contributed,” revealed the chairperson.
The farmers initiative was started with sh85,000 in 1998, and it has grown since then, boasting of a capital of more than sh20m.
The group of 20 members has now nurtured 10 more groups each consisting of a score members.
Key financial boost for Jinja farmers’ group