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Support To Farmers’ Organizations In Africa Programme (SFOAP)

Uganda Cooperative Alliance-UCA has been implementing the Project known as “Support to Farmers’ Organizations in Africa Programme-SFOAP” since April 2015 to date. The programme is being funded by European Union-EU, International Fund for Agricultural Development-IFAD, Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation-SDC and French Development Agency-AFD respectively. The support is being channeled through East Africa Framers’ Federation (EAFF).

The Programme overall goal is to improve the livelihoods and food security situation of African smallholder farmers and Rural Producers. The objectives are; to strengthen Farmer Organizations Institutional and Organizational capacities, to enable Farmer Organizations influence policies and priority issues at all levels, to improve Farmer Organizations’ Entrepreneurial Capacities and participation in Value Chain in particularly of Cassava as well as to improve overall efficiency and effectiveness in the implementation of the Programme. The program is supporting a total of five ACEs, namely Nebbi ACE, Panyimur-Dei ACE and Wadelai-Pakwinyo ACE in West Nile sub-region, Chegere and Akoloda in Lango sub-region.

Activity Implementation

During the year under review, a number of activities were conducted including Identification of lead farmers, setting up of Cassava demonstration plots and supply of high yielding Cassava planting materials in the demos, conducting training in various areas, holding consultation meetings on the District Cassava regulation 2016, carrying out member satisfaction survey, conducting exposure visits and Business to Business meeting.

Establishment of Cassava Demonstration Gardens for Learning Purpose.

In 2015, UCA supported establishment of 26 Cassava demonstration gardens by lead farmers in Nebbi District: Wadelai-Pakwinyo, Panyimur- Dei and Nebbi ACE. In 2016, with UCA support, 19 Cassava demonstration gardens were established by in Chegere and Akoloda ACEs in Lango sub-region. The process of establishing Cassava demonstration gardens started with identification of and consultation of lead farmers, verification of their gardens by Cassava experts/Agronomists from NARO-Abi-ZARDI and Ngetta-ZARDI respectively.

This was followed by land preparation, supply of high yielding Cassava Planting Materials/Cuttings including NASE3, NASE14, NASE19 and NAROCAS1 and Setting up of Cassava Demonstration gardens by the identified lead farmers. UCA and the Agricultural research organizations/ NARO are closely monitoring their performance on a regular basis. Cassava demonstration gardens will provide practical skills in better Agronomic practices.

Cassava cuttings being received for distribution to the UCA Team and lead farmers during planting demonstration plots. of a demo plots at Chegere ACE

Left to right are cassava demonstration gardens in Nebbi and Lango sub regions respectively.

Capacity Building through training

During the year, a number of Trainings were conducted aimed at enhancing capacities of Farmer Organizations, Cooperative leaders, Management and general Membership in various aspects including but not limited to Cooperative Business Management, Agro-Processing and Marketing, Quality Assurance, Business Negotiations, Business planning and Management, Modern agronomics practices, record Keeping and financial literacy. 

Cassava experts from Ngetta-ZARDI facilitating a training of farmers in Agronomic practices and cassava processing

Exposure Visits

During the year, two exposure visits for leaders and farmers from the five ACEs were organized. The first team of thirty three (33) people from the three ACEs: Nebbi ACE, Panyimur-Dei ACE and Wadelai- Pakwinyo ACE visited Cassava center of excellence Arua- NARO Center (ABI-ZARDI) while the second team from two ACEs: Chegere and Akoloda ACE from Lango sub-region including twenty-one (21) participants that is seventeen (17) leaders and four (04) Management staff visited Panyimur Dei ACE in Nebbi District.

The main objective of the exposure visits was to learn from the center of excellence better Agronomic practices and also to see and learn from their fellow ACE PanyimurDei ACE how they have been able to succeed using a Cooperative Business model as they continue to strengthen their Cooperatives for the benefits of their members and the community they serve.

Leaders and management of Akoloda and Chegere ACEs during exposure visit at Panyimur-Dei ACE

Enactment of Cassava Regulation

During the baseline survey and the subsequent trainings, it was discovered that Cassava value chain is faced with numerous challenges including poor farming practices, poor post-harvest handling and Cassava gardens destruction by stray animals and wild fire among other challenges. It was on this basis that implementing ACEs together with the District leadership requested to enact a law to address these challenges.

Above: Nebbi District Councilors debating the Cassava regulation.

Membership Satisfaction survey

Membership satisfaction survey was done to clearly establish the level of cooperative member satisfaction for planning purposes. Fact findings of the survey revealed that greater achievement was realized especially in areas of production and productivity, governance, extension services, collective bulking and marketing of members’ produce, financial literacy and community awareness.

However, membership satisfaction varies from ACE to ACE, with the first 3 ACEs in West Nile region which have been under the program support for the last two years recorded higher scores compared to their counterparts in Lango sub-region that have received project support for less than one year.

RESULTS/ ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE PROJECT

Increased Membership.

ACES and their member Cooperatives registered increase in membership both in West Nile and Lango sub-regions. In West Nile, membership increased from 3,252 in April 2015 to 4,518 by June 2017 while in Lango sub-region membership increased from 1,797 in August 2016 to 2,299 by June 2017.

The Nebbi district Cassava regulation was drafted and presented by the District production committee to the District Council which held discussion meeting on the Saturday 15th June 2017 and later passed it. The passing of the Local Government (Nebbi District) Cassava Regulation 2016 is one of the key achievements of SFOAP intervention in the region and the same Law is to be customized by Pakwach District a newly created District curved out of Nebbi District.

Increased collaboration with different partners

Due to improvements in leadership and managerial skills coupled with the membership commitment and support, a number of partnerships/collaborations have been made including signing of Contracts with potential Cassava Buyers/Processors. Some of the partners of the ACEs includes:-

  • Centenary Bank; Panyimur-Dei ACE was able to access a Loan from Centenary Bank of about UGX 7,000,000 following the Business to Business meeting.
  • Oiko Credit has also approved the disbursement a loan facility worth Ug. shs 150,000,000 for crop financing for Panyimur- Dei ACE.
  • NARO-Abi-ZARDI, US-ADF, OIKO CREDIT, CARITAS, PALLADIUM, Seed Companies and other big in-put dealers- including Equator Seed Company have signed contracts with the ACEs.
  • Local Governments have committed their support especially with the legal frame work like in Nebbi District that has supported enactment of the Cassava regulation.

TABLE 1 : INCREASED TO MARKET LINKAGES, VOLUME BULKED AND INCOME EARNED FROM 2015 TO JUNE 2017

NO. OF BUSINESS CONTRACTS       VOLUME OF CASSAVA BULKED     INCOME EARNED    
Period 2015 2016 JAN - JUN 2017 2015 2016 JAN - JUN 2017 2015 2016 JAN - JUN 2017
Nebbi 2 4 5 140 Tons 380 Tons 344 Tons 98 M 340 M 378.4 M
PANYIMUR-DEI 2 5 6 90 Tons 360 Tons 326 Tons 63 M 288 M 358.6 M
WADELAI-PAKWINYO 1 2 4 115 Tons 345 Tons 305 Tons 80.5 M 276 M 335.5M

Improved service delivery to members

At the beginning of the project, it was only Nebbi ACE that had extension staff, the situation has since changed with all the ACEs currently having at least one Extension staff. Panyimur-Dei ACE is providing transport services, cleaning, grading, processing and bagging of members’ produce hence leading to membership commitment and satisfaction. Wadela-Pakwinyo ACE on the other hand is providing value addition services including seed dressing and cleaning Services.

Member’s produce bulked, processed and ready for sale at Panyimur –Dei ACE

Increased knowledge and skills in various areas

Many trainings in addition to other activities have been conducted under the SFOAP Project leading to enhanced capacities of Farmer organizations, leaders, management and the general membership in various aspects, e.g. knowledge in leadership and management skills acquired, improvement in recommended Agronomic practices leading to increase in productivity and as a result, the general membership has become more supportive to their Cooperatives.

Increased productivity and improved postharvest handling

The ACEs registered remarkable increase in Cassava Production and Productivity following the various trainings and application of high yielding Cassava Planting materials in particular NASE3, NASE14 and NASE19. Improvement in Cassava marketing also led to increase in members’ income levels. In addition, marketing of Cassava cutting to Local Government and other NGOs supporting Agricultural activities in the areas also contributed to increased income at both individual and ACE level Wadelai-Pakwinyo, Nebbi, Panyimur –Dei ACEs earned a total  of 145,550,000/= from sale of 5,822 bags of Cassava cuttings.

TABLE 2 : INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY AND IMPROVED POST HARVEST HANDLING

ACE YEILD PER AC RE   POST-HARVEST HANDLING    
PERIOD 2015 2015 2016 2015 2016 2017
NEBBI 7500KG/Acre 42% 18% 42% 18% 17%
PANYIMUR-DEI 6000Kg/Acre 44% 20.50% 44% 20.50% 19%
WADELAI-PAKWINYO 7,000kg/Acre 41.50% 19% 41.50% 19% 18%

Resource mobilization and business linkages and support to marketing.

Through training in resource mobilization and business linkages, two ACEs that is Wadelai and Panyimur-Dei ACEs developed proposals with UCA support and got support from ISSD and USADF (Integrated seed sector development and United States Africa Development Fund) respectively. The Support received was in form of machinery, crop finance, transport, storage etc. In addition, Panyimur-Dei got additional support from WANRECO and GIZ for a transformer, Maize hurler, Cassava and Maize processing machines. Below is the detail support received from different partners.

TABLE 3 : Support from Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) to Wadelai – Pakwinyo ACE

No. Details Amount/ Value in UGX
1 Store / Office 30,000,000
2 Seed Dresser 2,500,000
3 Moisture Meter 2,000,000
4 Platform Scale 3,000,000
  Total grants in Ug.shs 37,500,000

TABLE 4 : Support from Partners to Panyimur-Dei ACE

Support from United States Africa Development Fund   SUPPORT FROMOIKO CREDIT     SUPPORT FROMGIZ AND WANRECO
DETAILS VALUE IN UGX DETAILS VALUE IN UGX DETAILS VALUE IN UGX
Fertilizer 135,000,000 Office/Store 18,000,000 Transformer 24,000,000
Rice Mill 97,437,000 Maize seed 7,200,000 maize huller 6,000,000
Truck-Lorry 93,000,000 Computer & software 15,700,000 Processing machine 5,800,000
2 Motorcycles 24,000,000 Tapelines 3,600,000 - -
3 Computers 28,000,000 - - - -
TOTAL 377,437,000   44,500,000   35,800,000

LESSONS LEARNT

  • Development Partners are attracted to working and supporting Cooperatives that are doing well like support received by Panyimur-Dei & Wadelai-Pakwinyo ACEs.
  • Improvement in leadership and governance of Cooperatives can be attained as a result of continuous training of leaders and management.
  • Provision of quality and diversified services is a catalyst for increased membership from within the communities.
  • Member mobilization and sensitization is important in enhancing their support and commitment towards their cooperatives.
  • A strong Cooperative can be a vehicle for rural transformation and poverty reduction as depicted under the project.

There is need for capacity building for attitude change. This is depicted in the production performance table where before the project, farmers’ production levels were low because of the traditional varieties but after adoption of the high yielding varieties: NASSE 14, NASSE19 and NAROCASE1, production has more than doubled.

CONNECT WITH US

WHO WE ARE

THE SECRETARIAT

Contact Information

Phone : +256 414 258898/4/8
Email : info@uca.coop
Address : Plot 47/49,
Nkrumah Road
P.O. Box 2215, Kampala-Uganda