By Ramathan Ggoobi
The journey to implement the Parish Development Model (PDM) as a strategy to support 3.5 million households that are still in subsistence economy to join the economy of money starts today.
The Parish is going to be the focal point for baseline data gathering, enterprise selection (focusing at high-value enterprises), provision of financial services (credit & savings) to purchase quality farming inputs, and provision of extension services.
The Parish is also going to be the focal point for reducing post-harvest losses, bulking & marketing of agric produce. This will quicken transition from substance to commercial production, and ultimately speed up completion of agricultural revolution into industrialisation.
The PDM was designed on 7 pillars. However, two of these (production & financial inclusion) are going to be the core pillars, while the rest will be supportive i.e. the PDM will enable households that were excluded from formal financial sector to access funds to buy inputs.
Each Parish is going to have one PDM SACCO through which @GovUganda support to the households still in subsistence will be channeled. The money will be transferred directly from the treasury to the PDM SACCO. No middlemen for money to guard against the “leaky bucket” syndrome.
The Parish Development Committee (of 7 Parish members) will play an oversight role over the Parish Revolving Fund to ensure the money goes to the target group (households in subsistence) and that they use it for productive investment and they pay back.
Key take-homes: 1. PDM is for households still in subsistence. 2. The money is for buying productive inputs, not for ‘eating’. 3. It’s for borrowing at 5% to revolve around the Parish; not to be returned to the Treasury. 4. It will be sent directly from Treasury to PDM SACCO.
The writer is the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Planning & Economic Development.