Help Us Build Resilience — By 2030.

 

My name is Anthony, a small farmer striving to end poverty here in eastern Uganda. I am also founder of the UCF, a nonprofit social enterprise that you can read about on this site.

 

HELP US BUILD RESILIENCE — BY 2030!
The coronavirus has placed profound economic strain on the world’s extreme poor.
But, even before this pandemic made life difficult. many rural smallholder farming households in a region like ours had historically lived in extreme poverty, in particular due to the absence of reliable markets for our produce. And right now, people like us simply have nothing to count on in the recovery process. This is because our only means of survival (i.e. agriculture) has itself long been synonymous with extreme poverty.

 

HELP US CHANGE THIS — BY 2030:
The UCF is looking for people who can work with us in any of the two ways described below, to help us create one bold solution that shall both bring new market linkages for our produce, and help the poorest rural smallholder farmers become resilient by 2030.

 

LET’S CREATE THIS SOLUTION TOGETHER — IN 2 WAYS:
1). We are looking for organizations (businesses, nonprofits, foundations, universities etc) that can embed one or two people from their team, and put them directly at the UCF in Uganda for 1-2 years (even if only intermittently), and then work together with us as one team to develop our intended solution, from start to finish. If you are just an individual who is not part of any organisation, but who can help in the same way, we need you too.
Please see “Overall, these are the different ways you can help” at the end of this page.
2). The UCF has an online crowdfundraiser that is asking the world to use this time of quarantine to help people like us build resilience. Specifically, this crowdfundraiser aims to raise support for the same solution that we would like to create together with you.
Here is that crowdfundraiser: https://go.rallyup.com/endpoverty
We are looking for people who could help devise a creative digital strategy, to ensure that this fundraiser is seen by many, so we can raise support for our intended solution.

 

THE INTENDED SOLUTION:
The solution that we need you to help us create is: a fully-fledged agro-processing plant that shall both reverse poverty and create jobs in our region, by minimizing post-harvest food losses; creating market linkages for rural poor smallholder farmers, and by linking our produce with agri-value chains — such as breweries, bakeries & confectioneries, etc.
Here is a budget breakdown for this plant: http://www.ugandafarm.org/plant-details/
A more chronological description of our rationale for setting up this plant is available in our Global Goals campaign http://citizencall.org, under the section “Let’s Do Something”.

 

Note: as shown under “Funding Targets” in our current online crowfundraiser (above), you will notice that, although our envisaged total budget for this plant is big (i.e. $15m), we will begin developing this plant once we only raise a small fraction of that money. That’s, every little support that we can raise will make a strategic incremental beginning.

 

FOR THOSE READY TO WORK DIRECTLY WITH US IN UGANDA TO BUILD THIS PLANT:
We will provide local travel, food and modest accommodation (for any number of people) at our office in Namisita, for any duration. The UCF has already hosted big teams of volunteers from the US & UK, for up to two months. Photos of some of the volunteers we have previously hosted are on our “Volunteer” page. Also, please download our “volunteer brochure” on the same page, and scroll to the extreme bottom of that PDF, for detailed info on the kind of food, accommodation & local travel that will be available.

 

OVERALL, THESE ARE THE DIFFERENT WAYS YOU CAN HELP US BUILD THIS PLANT:
1). Help amplify our crowdfundraiser (above), and be sure to make a contribution. You may even be able to help us raise a small fraction of the needed funding via your own means. Every little support that we can raise will make a small incremental beginning.
2).  If you possess any hands-on skills that you could offer on a volunteering basis (e.g. as an industrial designer; food technologist, mechanical engineer etc), come and work with us on the ground in Uganda, to develop this plant, once the coronavirus has relented.
3). We will also need the help of some MBA student volunteers, or anyone out there, to orientate us on key areas of work, like management; staffing needs & roles of personnel, or even new technologies for monitoring/tracking our target farmers’ fields in real time.
4). If you are someone who has no hands-on skills to offer (i.e. if you are an unskilled volunteer who would like to be part of us in developing this plant), there is a lot of work you can do, from carrying materials from suppliers, to working as a porter. Come join in.

 

THE TECHNICAL PART OF IT:
Technical help on installing the whole plant; building market linkages, and advice on specific crop systems will come from TechoServe, SolarLabSU.com, Partners in Food Solutions, AfrII, Natural Resources Institute UK & specialized entities like Alvan Blanch.

 

Help us put a sizable bet on 2030, today. Help us make 2030 the year poverty must end.

 

P.S. – see also my protracted journey, since 2014, in trying to raise support for this plant.
Anthony <anthonyATugandafarm.org>