Since we started implementing this project in 2013, a number of activities have been done which include; civic learning clinics, citizens- leaders debates/parliaments, and trainings. A long side sensitizing citizens their civic roles, rights and responsibilities, HCV initiated a new strategy of sensitizing them new approaches of development at house hold level which included increasing house hold income through Agriculture. This is being piloted in Kitagata Sub County only
As result, citizens welcomed the strategy calling it a blessing from God. To sustain this idea, HCV assembled these citizens into smaller community groups/farmer groups depending on their villages. HCV helped them to form committees, make constitutions, helped them to register with Sheema District Local Gov’t, and trained them in group dynamics among many others. As a result, a total of 26 farmer groups/community groups have been formed and trained by HCV, out of 26 groups, 20 are registered with District, NAADS and the remaining are in the process of registration. Also out of 26 groups, 07groups have joined WACSOF and they attended AGM in Rubirizi District
These farmers in groups have been for the last year involved in Agriculture, art and craft, monthly savings, and other income generating activities. Though many challenges ranging from low prices, climate changes, high cost of inputs, poor quality products and disease are affecting their production. To have a collective voice to address these challenges, the 26 groups have agreed and formed one joint group called Kitagata Mixed Farmers Cooperative Society Ltd. And they are also registered with Ministry of trade and Cooperatives number P.S/4339RS
After formation of Kitagata Mixed Farmers Cooperative Society Ltd, many development partners got interested in working with them like; Numa Feeds Ltd Kabwohe which gives them free inputs (fertilizer, seeds and spraying chemicals), harvesting equipment’s, train them in value addition and provides them with direct market of their produce. Other partners include CIAT (Center for Tropical Agriculture- Kenya), CEDO Rakia, KABIP-Kitagata, NARO-Mbarara, DFCU- Ishaka
So far citizens in Kitagata Sub County have increased their incomes through their new cooperative formed. This has made easy to carry out other remaining activities.
HCV is extending this idea in two sub counties of Rugarama and Shuuku before the project ends. It has so far registered Rugarama Bodada Association