At present, the only crop for which we can find a reliable market is white sorghum. Since August 2019, the UCF is running a project where we provide rural poor farmers in Kamuli & Buyende with initial seed; training & inputs like tarpaulins for clean post-harvest handling. The agribusiness manager for Uganda Breweries, Joseph Kawuki, has also offered a ready market for our sorghum. This marks the first time farmers in our region — who already have no market for all other crops, and who aren’t part of any agricultural value chains — will access a mainstream market in the agri-food industry.
We aim to provide each beginning farmer with free inputs for the first 4 consecutive seasons. From that point on, each farmer buys their own inputs using incomes from the previous seasons, and the UCF switches to only helping them with market access.
In hindsight, the key underlying reason that keeps all small farmers in poverty in our region is the absence of reliable markets for our produce. So, by providing rural poor farmers with initial inputs, and pooling our produce to access reliable markets, we are both giving these farmers a hand-up, and placing them on a self-sufficient path from extreme poverty. See our project needs here. And see photos from this work below: