Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) End of Project Report
Publication Date: 21/07/2023
The Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) was a 38-month project implemented between January 2020 and February 2023, with an aim to improve food security, maternal and child nutrition, and household incomes for smallholder farmers in 11 districts of Kitgum, Katakwi, Kaabong, Karenga, Kotido, Moroto, Napak, Nabilatuk, Nakapiriprit, Amudat, and Abim. The project was implemented by a consortium led by CARE Denmark, alongside partners such as Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Gulu Agricultural Development Company (GADC), Dynamic Agro-Pastoral Development Organization (DADO), and Soroti Rural Development Agency (SORUDA). The project had three major outcomes: increased production of diversified food by both men and women smallholder farmers, enhanced market accessibility for these farmers, and improved nutrition and Family Planning services through gender-responsive community-based approaches.
The Project employed an Inclusive Market Development-Based approach, emphasizing economic gender equality, women empowerment, youth engagement, and community-based nutrition, while also focusing on the value chain. This strategy involved multi-stakeholder engagement and synergizing with existing government and development partner initiatives like DADO, CRS, and SORUDA. By implementing this approach, the project provided smallholder farmers with opportunities to enhance their incomes through the cultivation of high-value crops, such as sesame, cotton, soybean, and iron-rich beans. Additionally, measures were taken to ensure sustainability, including integrating activities into the government's PDM approach, building capacity among extension staff, and linking VSLA/SILC/YSLA/PMGs groups to financial institutions and agro input service providers.
A crucial aspect of the project was empowering women and youth, often marginalized in agriculture and rural development. Women were trained in Climate-Smart Agriculture and offered access to markets and finance through VSLA/SILC groups. Furthermore, Role Model Men were involved in raising awareness on gender-responsive actions, family planning, and women empowerment within smallholder farmers' households, fostering attitudinal changes towards gender equality and encouraging women to play an active role in agricultural production.
To achieve success, the project effectively engaged both public and private extension workers, disseminating information on Climate-Smart Agriculture practices to smallholder farmers and boosting production and income. Additionally, collaboration with Tillage Service Providers promoted entrepreneurship among youth and reduced manual labor burdens for smallholder farmers.