With a focus on smallholder farmers, particularly women, Feed the Future supports the development of Uganda’s agriculture sector to spur economic growth that increases incomes and reduces hunger, poverty, and undernutrition.
Feed the Future efforts are driven by country-led priorities and rooted in partnership with governments, donor organisations, the private sector, and civil society to enable long-term success. There is an overall value chain project which focuses on maize, beans and coffee. This larger project is then sub-divided into a number of discrete activities.
The Agricultural Inputs Activity is a USAID/Uganda-funded programme to promote the responsible use of agricultural inputs in Feed the Future target districts. The goal of the Activity is to increase the use of high quality agricultural inputs in Uganda through increased availability of high quality inputs to farmers in focus districts and decreased prevalence of counterfeit agricultural inputs.
Market systems and interventions
The overall goal of the anti-counterfeit and demand quality campaign is to create increased trust in the agricultural inputs supply chain by farmers, increase demand and accessibility of quality agricultural inputs and hence decrease counterfeits on the markets.
- We work in close collaboration with the national Farmer’s Federation and district farmer associations to roll out a farmer education campaign. We help to facilitate an anti-counterfeit coalition in collaboration with the district local governments and other key stakeholders, and are working to help districts pass local ordinances and by-laws to prosecute against counterfeits in their jurisdiction.
The goal is to provide electronic assurance to consumers that they have purchased genuine products.
- We support brand protection for quality conscious suppliers. The service is offered by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards, working in a PPP collaboration with mPedigree, a private service provider from Ghana. The role of agriculture inputs is to support the national education campaign to increase farmer understanding of the service, and demand for verification to spread across all inputs. So far, 11 companies participate and it will soon roll out nationwide.
The goal is to ensure the availability of high quality seed by a consortium of Ugandan seed companies utilising internationally accredited seed certification services through a public private partnership.
- We are supporting progressive seed companies to improve their internal quality management systems.
- We support the emergence of a private sector seed certification service; we train internal seed company inspectors; and we are lobbying for the National Seed certification to recognise the greater role of the private sector in seed certification and to delegate inspection authority to an independent third party entity. So far, nine seed companies participate in the training, as do national seed certification service inspectors.
Professionalisation of agro-chemical supply and spray service provision
The goal is for a continuously improving market (supply and demand) for safe and environmentally responsible spray services, ensuring judicious and effective use of agrochemicals, linked to competent agro dealers who sell solutions (product and advice) to farm problems and not just trading in products per se.
- We work in close collaboration with CropLife Uganda to train trainers, and then train SSPs, and agro dealers in safe and responsible service delivery.
- We facilitated the revision of the training curriculum and the guidelines for agro-dealer licensing to sell chemicals. The pilot is rolling out in 10 districts this year.
- We work closely with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau, the Uganda Revenue Authority, local governments and the Ministry of Agriculture to try to facilitate a coordinated effort to get all agro-dealers in Uganda legally registered and licensed. Once the regulatory environment has improved, businesses will either improve their practices or exit the market, because the incentives to conduct bad business, based on the lowest price possible regardless of quality, will be weaker than the sanctions for doing so. Remaining agricultural input businesses will be in a better position to invest in customer service business strategies that promote growth based on quality and service.
Access to finance
The goal is to ensure availability of appropriate financing for agricultural inputs market actors to support their investment in customer service business strategies that increase availability of high quality inputs on the Ugandan market.
- Collaborating with various financial service providers to encourage them to tailor product offerings to sector needs. We are piloting a mobile money wallet product to facilitate easier loan management and recovery. We are carrying out financial management simulation training for agro-dealers to improve their record keeping and make their businesses more bankable.
The goal is to establish efficient, defined and effective distribution channels that are equitable, thrive on traceability, backed by consumer confidence.
- Collaborating with the design of e-voucher systems for government distribution programmes to make them more private sector friendly. Most of these new innovations are not yet mature enough to have delivered significant impact yet, however there is a lot of buy in from stakeholders.
Most of the innovations are new and are not yet mature enough to have delivered significant impacts yet. But there is a lot of buy in from stakeholders.