Marketing of our farmers’ produce is the responsibility of the UCF. At this point, though, we face a new challenge: fresh agricultural produce is subject to the most volatile market conditions. And so, we must devise a scalable and resilient plan for marketing our farmers’ produce. Our next plan therefore is to set up an agricultural processing plant to catalyze resilient agricultural markets — through value-addition.
And, with our new focus on creating resilient markets through value-addition, our new goal is to help farmers diversify their incomes, by adding value to a wide range of crops that the local farmers are already producing, such as mangoes; pineapples; carrots; beets; oranges; jackfruit; papaya; kale; cucumber etc—not just ginger [which has been our focus crop]. This will help our farmers diversify their incomes and escape poverty.
To provide prototypes on crop protection and maintenance, the UCF has set up a training and demo center in Namisita, Kamuli. The center, with a large storehouse [seen above], is also our “collective marketing” point where all our farmers’ produce is gathered and then marketed under a single umbrella.
At the same time, the income from the crops being grown at our project site shall ultimately enable us to self-finance 100% of our administrative overheads and project scaling costs, making the whole project 100% financially self sufficient.
To cascade technical knowledge & skills to rural poor farmers at a grassroots level, the UCF has tapped a number of model farmers from each village. The model farmers provide peer-to-peer mentoring to new farmers; organize fellow farmers to ready their produce for collection, and coordinate all our outreaches in their villages.