Speech to Pallisa District Budget Conference on 2010

Mr. Chairperson of the Session, the District Chairperson, the Resident District Commissioner, honourable members of the District Executive, honourable Councillors, religious Leaders, elders; all protocol observed.

Who am I?

I am a:

  • daughter of Pallisa, originating from the household of Engineer George William Owaraga, my father.
  • academic who holds a Master in Science Degree in Development Management and who is currently pursuing studies at Makerere University for a Doctor of Philosophy Degree, specialising in rural sociology.
  • highly skilled international consultant who is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Executive Support Services, a consultancy firm, which I founded.
  • philanthropist, an investor and a leader – recognised amongst African leaders who have made significant contributions to Africa. 
  • Fellow of the African Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Background to My Contribution to Pallisa District

In 2008, as a leader, I was challenged to do more for those who are less advantaged.  I paid a visit to Pallisa District Administration and familiarised myself with issues affecting Pallisa District. I met with:

Mrs. Mary Putan, Pallisa District Senior Nursing Officer, who informed me of the high number of persons suffering from anemia, diahorea and intestinal infestations, which she attributed to food insecurity caused by selling of food crops for cash – leading to little available food for consumption – leading to widespread malnutrition.  She also decried wide spread deforestation that had led to insufficient wood fuel – leading to people consuming poorly prepared food and avoiding consumption of nutritious food which takes longer to prepare.

Dr. Okot Bodo Richard, District Vetenary Officer, who informed me of the low population of diary animals in the district – leading to low consumption of milk – leading to malnutrition.  He highlighted the challenges faced due to pressure on the land from the population explosion and the now insufficient grazing land.

My Contribution to Pallisa District

Eng. Owaraga accessed to me eight acres of land, surrounding his home in Komolo-Akadot Village, on which I have set up a demonstration farm, Alinga Farms, for purposes of transferring practical knowledge and skills; and that is targeting to improve the livelihoods of active poor farmers.

Focus on Nutrition and Income Generation

Alinga Farms is promoting the growing of highly nutritious foods of high value and which do not require large chunks of land to grow.  In this regard we have introduced farming of Oyster Mushrooms and Hibiscus Sabdarrifa.  See the samples that I have brought and our “Food for good health” brochure for more details. 

Mushrooms – Alinga Farms has accessed training on growing oyster mushrooms to 20 households and is in the process of rolling out its out-growers programme for oyster mushroom farmers.  In the first phase, seven households of those trained have agreed to enter into partnership with Alinga Farms as out growers.  Each of the seven households agreed to build mushroom houses at their homes. 

This month, the mothers of these households will enter a contract with Alinga Farms in which Alinga Farms shall access start-up inputs to them, on credit.  These loans to the farmers will be recovered in form of dried mushrooms from the farmers’ first harvest.  Alinga Farms will continue to buy produce from these farmers for onward marketing. 

The farmers will be assisted to farm oyster mushrooms and run their mushroom houses as a business.  Thus, in addition to access to highly nutritious food for their consumption, through sales of dried mushrooms, these households shall get direct and regular cash injections into their households, to cater for their other needs.

Orchard – Alinga Farms has also grown orange trees and has accessed orange tree seedlings to active poor households, of which 40 households are successfully nurturing their orange trees.

Focus on Environmental Re-Generation and Income Generation

Tree Growing – Alinga Farms is promoting tree growing.  We have set up a tree nursery specialising in producing tree seedlings for trees that provide wood fuel, fodder and poles.  We have planted a one acre wood plot of the tree Sesbania Sesban.  We have also planted 500 pine trees at our Kadelege Pine Forest, located on an additional two acres of land owned and accessed to us by Eng. Owaraga. 

The only spring well in Komolo-Akadot Village is located within our Kadegele Pine Forest and it is our intention that our pine forest will play a major role in cooling down the temperature in the area and that this will stop the spring well from drying up during the dry season. Eng. Owaraga gave access to another five acres of his land on which Aputon Pine Forest have been planted.  

Food Crops through Agro-Forestry – We are in the process of intercropping the pine trees with cassava and other crops.  We hope that our re-forestation model will be found to be attractive and that many more households will follow it and that they will grow and manage trees as they do with other crops.

Honey Production – In conjunction with tree planting, Alinga Farms is promoting Apiary farming.  Alinga Farms has accessed training on apiary for production of honey and wax to 10 households.  The fathers of these households have agreed to enter into partnership with Alinga Farms in such a way as a joint apiary project will be located on Alinga Farms, but that each of the households will individually have ownership of some of the beehives. 

Alinga Farms already has a total of 16 Kenya Top Bar (KTB) beehives on location, of which nine are the investment of Denis Ogoi Owaraga and the remaining 7 owned by Alinga Farms.  In addition, one Langstroth beehive owned by Alinga Farms has also been located. 

To roll out and expand its apiary project, Alinga Farms will provide soft loans, in form of one KTB beehive valued at Ush 45,000/= per household, to each of the fathers of each of the 10 households which were trained.  When the households harvest their first honey they will begin the process of paying back their loans to Alinga Farms in form of honey and wax. 

All the beehives will be located within the Sesbania Sesban wood plot at Alinga Farms and will be jointly maintained by the beehive owners.

Other Activities

Alinga Farms has plans to sponsor other related training for active poor farmers on how to best do farming as a business and to improve their standards of living.  Some of the topics that will be covered are: Understanding poverty, Development methodologies, Gender issues, Conscious-awakening and the change agent, Working with self-help development groups, Communication and facilitation, Savings and credit schemes for self-help development groups, and Income generation


Each earthquake has an epi-centre from which its reverberations originate and spread wide. Alinga Farms is an epicentre; from where reverberations of the fight against poverty are emerging, will spread and will be felt wide in Komolo-Akadot village, Pallisa County, Pallisa District and Uganda.

We, therefore, pray that Pallisa District Local Government will strengthen your partnership with us. So that together we can defeat poverty. Help us to access our services to an increased number of households from a wider geographical coverage and to promote our model of farming as a business while ensuring adequate nutrition and a healthy environment.

Thank you, Norah Owaraga.

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