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The Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon. Janat Balunzi Mukwaya yesterday visited a women group in Kibuku district that has specialised in adding value to cassava. This is part of the Minister's ongoing performance monitoring visit in Busoga, Bukedi and Teso sub regions. The group named Kawami Women Value Addition Group and funded by the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP) has turned the largely staple food crop into a cash cow by producing various products including cassava gari, tapioca, high quality cassava flour, fortified cassava porridge, cakes, doughnuts, cookies, daddies and even starch, which is usable by the pharmaceutical industries to produce medicine. The group has also established market in Nigeria where gari is a popular food.
The Minister will today hold a meeting with the Kibuku district leadership to review her findings of groups visited yesterday. The sub county officials, women, youth and representatives of the elderly citizens will also attend the day-long meeting. This meeting presents an opportunity to discuss and find solutions to the challenges faced in implementing the UWEP, Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP) and Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) programmes. SAGE is the Programme that extends a monthly stipend of Shs.25,000 to elderly persons.
Tomorrow the Minister will cover Pallisa before proceeding to Kumi district on Friday. The visit will climax with the celebrations of the International Day of Older Persons in Kumi on Monday.