Heifer-in-Trust schemes: The Uganda experience

This paper, based on a survey of benefiting and non-benefiting farm households in Uganda's Mpigi district, analyses the Heifer-in-Trust scheme. Although the scheme is intended to alleviate the nutrition and income deficiencies of the poorest rural farmers through dairy production, the actual beneficiaries tend to be the less poor because of the expenses involved. Such is the fate of many development initiatives in which the benefits often do not reach their intended recipients, with the risk of widening the inequality gap. On the other hand, those who did benefit from the scheme, though better off from the start, were found to be very active and enthusiastic, and it was obvious that the scheme had made a significant contribution to dairy improvement. The challenge, then, remains to devise the means by which the poorest farmers can be reached.