South Korea Trains Ugandans On Rural Economic Empowerment


ailment geneva; font-size: small;”>The first batch that benefited from the Farmer Income Increase Policy Process Training has returned and will train others locally.

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During the training, lectures on Africa development strategies, pest control, cultivation of vegetables, enlargement of agriculture, expansion of irrigation facilities, production of compost and organic fertilizers was done.

Lee Jae Chang, president of Saemaul Undong (SMU) that sponsored the training at their center in Seoul, South Korea, said the purpose of training was to contribute to Uganda’s development by increasing income to spur rural development.

He was briefing Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi on the strategy at the Office of the Prime Minister late last week.

Mr. Chang underscored the need for mental reform of the people in the villages.

The Prime Minister said the government was eager to implement the model of development where urban-rural migration was encouraged and economically empowered the rural folks.

He said poverty levels had reduced to 24.5%, down from 56% but they should reduce further.

“Korea was at the same level of economic development with Uganda 50 years ago and our ideas are almost the same although the objective conditions differ,” Mbabazi said, adding that it was important to demonstrate that absolute poverty could be banished.

Under the programme, those who received the training in S. Korea were to start model income generating pilot demonstration projects in their rural localities. They would also train others to initiate and manage similar projects. Their success would lead to urban-rural migration.

Mbabazi said government was opening up the countryside as part of a wider programme to enable farmers’ access to better markets, reduce post-harvest losses and economically empower themselves.

Chang said the training, which covers preparation of action plans, would be expanded to cover the whole country.

He said agricultural extension staff and some journalists were among those targeted for knowledge transfer.

The S. Korean Ambassador to Uganda, Park Jong-Dae said his country had no natural resources but capitalised on its human resource to lay its foundation for development. He said the foundation included addressing sanitation-related issues and other basics.

He said his government gave limited support to the active poor and embarked on a major infrastructural development programme that in turn drove industrialization. At least 80% of Uganda’s population live in rural areas and are expected to embrace the programme


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