Unveiling market opportunities for Northern and Mid-Western Uganda Farmers
Our member, Viable Impact has been working in Uganda since 2019, improving the lives of Uganda’s smallholder farming families through improving production and market access for the vulnerable farming communities in Northern and Mid-Western Uganda. Viable works with a variety of grass-root partners, that include GLOFORD Institute of Innovation (GII) in Lira, Foundation for Inclusive Community Help (FICH) in Oyam and Environmental Conservation and Agricultural Enhancement Uganda (Eco-Agric Uganda) in Hoima. The focus is currently of four value chain commodities that include; Soybean, Maize, sesame and sunflower.
At Viable we ensure that the power of business is unleashed for generations when income opportunities are introduced to people who are struggling to survive and willing to work hard to change their circumstances. Uganda is a productive country with a hard-working people and favorable climate. Despite the efforts of more than 10,000 charities and development organization operating in the country, large segments of the population currently grapple with food insecurity and malnutrition.
75% of Uganda’s population participates in agriculture for their livelihood. Nearly half of all working age people are subsistence farmers. For small farmers, total household income can be as little as $13 / month to support a household of six dependents, which will at times include orphans from the community. This little income is as a result of poor prices offered at local public markets are among the many challenges faced by small farmers.
Our work through our partners unveils new, legitimate market connections with better pricing within reach of the farmers at a grassroots level. This motivates farmers to increase production and acts as a catalyst for business to buy more and generate income from economies of scale.
In the midst of COVID-19, 4,951 farmers pursued new opportunity in the form of new market connections facilitated by Viable. Average farmer income increased by 61%. Based on the authenticity they saw in the opportunity, some farmers increased their total production efforts. We have facilitated grain trade with $ 235,027 through grain procurement fund scheme. This provides a holistic solution to increasing liquidity at the partners’ level to provide farmers a better price than the middlemen.
The relationship between the farmers and our grass root partners will enable to advance the competitiveness of the partners and productivity of smallholders with a joint objective to reduce cost, increase profit margins, expand supply and markets. They will continue to produce the grain that will be bought by the partners at good prices. The assured market at good price will be an incentive for the farmers to produce more grain hence making the intervention more sustainable.
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