We are currently supporting a network of over 400 fellow poor farmers, and we are just getting started. We have also thus far provided over 4,000 kg of ginger rhizomes to these farmers, in partnership with RandomActs.org. And in 2016, a well-wisher from Seattle donated to us a dump truck (photos below). The truck delivers organic wastes (fertilizers) to all the farmers we work with, and distributes seed at planting. The UCF then creates market links for our collective produce, so we can market it together.
In retrospect, the absence of reliable markets remains the main challenge for rural poor farmers across our region. To create a lasting, scalable solution to this, the UCF is striving to link poor farmers with value chains, e.g. in the food/beverage industry. It is the goal of both our new sorghum project, and our intended agro-processing plant.
With a new focus on integrating rural smallholder farmers into value chains, we aim to help farmers diversify their incomes, by creating markets not only for ginger (which has been our sole focus crop), but also for a range of crops that are produced in our region, such as cassava; cereals; mangoes; pineapples; banana; passion fruits; beets; moringa etc. This will help poor farmers diversify their incomes and escape poverty.