The demand for organic fruits and vegetables is expected to rise due to the increasing worldwide awareness of healthy diets and environmental issues. At the same time, growing High Value Crops has proved to be a good strategy in lifting small scale Uganda farmers out of poverty. Considering that at least 70% of the world’s poverty live in rural areas, attention to this is a necessity.
Uganda has the perfect climate and landscape to supply this demand of organic fruits and vegetables. It benefits from a bimodal rainfall pattern, has several water bodies and rivers and a high quantity of arable land. Uganda is located on the equator, which means they can produce all year round. Despite the potential and the government interest, the farming sector in Uganda is underdeveloped and in need of heavy reforms.
The last years, Ssamba Foundation has been carrying out several projects to organize the farmers across Kyampisi Subcounty in Mukono district. A total of 164 farmers are now organized in groups. You can make a positive impact and lasting difference– donate online to support this program/project! Thank you
The Uganda farmers in these groups, grow vegetables, passion fruits and basic grains. The farmers live in their small gardens in the rural villages of Kyampisi. There are rural paths that are not accessible during the rainy season.
High incidences of pests which affects the productivity.
There is a need to improve the quality of the produce. A shortage of skilled agronomists makes it difficult for farmers to get the marketable produce.
Issue of fake/low quality agricultural inputs, like fake seeds, low quality fertilizers, find their way to the market. It is a challenge for farmers to determine good quality inputs from counterfeits.
With limited or nonexistent irrigation, most crops depend exclusively on rain. Climate change is making this traditional farming method much less reliable. A better, more efficient water supply can guarantee higher yields and more stable production.
High transaction costs due to the poor road conditions, which make transport extremely difficult during the rainy season.
Difficulty to access credit by farmers due to the lack of local credit unions, as well as difficulties for creditors to assess credit risks of individual farmers.
Weak farmers’ organizations lead to an inefficient market chain where the producers cannot sell collectively and need middle men.
The farmers do not have enough market knowledge to be an active partner in the negotiations.
The Ugandan export sector is poorly funded, consisting of small and undercapitalized exporting companies that cannot support the farmers. Strengthening them will improve the trade.
Due to the lack of opportunities, young people leave the rural areas, endangering the future of the trade.
To deal with pests, we will link the farmers with Research Institutes to establish sustainable disease-free nurseries within the farming communities.
To improve quality, we will work together with the ministry of agriculture by establishing a **Quality Management System **and through training in Good Agricultural Practices.
We will promote the creation of Village Savings and Loans Associations. This will enable the farmers to access credit and install irrigation systems.
We will give training on market systems and collective sales to the farmers.
We will train the farmers on management **and how to create **business plans to access governmental funding.
We will encourage the farmers’ associations to open participation spaces for young people so they can feel more involved in the trade.
To improve the road infrastructure, we will support the farmers’ lobbying activities towards the local government.
To strengthen the trade, we will facilitate partnerships between exporters and the producers’ organizations.
We will create multi stakeholder meetings where we will share our best practices and experiences. This can encourage companies to establish sourcing policies that are inclusive towards smallholder farmers.
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Ssamba Foundation Communications Department