SNV Netherlands Development Organisation has signed a one year partnership agreement with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to implement the Purchase for Progress (P4P) Initiative in Kabarole and Kasese districts in South Western Uganda.
The project is aimed at connecting 900 smallholder farmers to sustainable markets by helping them to improve their grain yields and quality and linking the farmers to private sector commodity buyers.
Like most farmers in the country, farmers in Rwenzori region have not fully optimised the existing opportunities in staple crops. Buyers complain of limited and inconsistent supply, inferior quality and stiff competition from commodity buyers. Smallholder farmers on the other hand are faced with limited production resources, limited incentives to produce enough grain to meet the high market demands. Smallholders also lack knowledge about the market forces necessary for them to position themselves as market oriented producers.
The project will thus address the key constraints in the demand and supply side by:
Connecting smallholder farmers to sustainable markets by promoting collective marketing at farmer group level and networking through commodity platforms.
Helping smallholder farmers gain access to financial services by mobilising and training farmers on the benefits of establishing and managing village savings and loan schemes to support their farming business.
Helping Smallholder farmers realise surplus production for sale through training on good agricultural practices and post-harvest handling to minimise grain loses.
30 farmer groups comprising of 30 farmers each will be targeted for capacity building support. For Ngabirano Augustino one of the farmer group leaders, the programme is a welcome initiative because inadequate extension services in the region has hindered the growth of farmer groups. “Farmers are willing to change and adapt however most big organisations target the few prominent groups leaving the weak groups limping. We are happy that SNV and the World Food Programme have expanded the programme to support more farmer groups,” Ngabirano added.