FtF IAM is working with Outbox and Asigma business advisory firms to build the capacity of at least 20 Member Based Organizations (MBOs) in Northern, Eastern, and Western Uganda to become profitable and effectively deliver services to members.
• In May, Outbox Uganda Limited, linked Kisagazi Kasese Coffee Farmers’ Association to Grainpulse, an agro input dealer and grain off-taker. Through the partnership, Grainpulse sold fertilizer and tarpaulins of UGX 250 million (est. $ 66,681) to 700 (218 women) smallholder farmers on credit at prices lower than the prevailing market price. Grainpulse will offer extension support and offtake the grain aggregated by the MBO, hence creating a ready and quality market for farmers. Outbox is further facilitating business relationships between other MBOs and agri-input companies like Faith Agro, and off-takers like Mount Harvest. Additionally, Outbox offered financial readiness support to four (4) MBOs (Elgon, Bushika, Kisagazi, and Bubare Area Cooperatives) to update business plans and meet other financial service provider requirements. The MBOs are at different stages of evaluation by financial service providers (UDB, Microfinance Support Center, Rabobank, and Equity Bank) to access working capital.
• ASIGMA, continues to strengthen member-based organizations’ (MBOs) capacity through consulting service providers (CSPs). One CSP supported Akolodong Soybean Farmers Cooperative to procure 105 tarpaulins (measuring 6*6) of UGX 8,400,000 (est. $ 2,224.71) from Sunbelt Textile Co. Ltd – a company located in Kampala. The farmers will use the tarpaulins to improve the postharvest handling practices and the quality of products sold. Additionally, a female CSP, closed a market linkage deal for Dokolo Aye Medo Ngeca cooperative, to earn revenue of UGX 500,000 (est. $ 132.423) from the sale of 500 kg of dry cassava chips to Parl Enterprises. Overall, the MBOs are actively demanding for CSP services. The CSPs report that leaders have been reaching out to them requesting their support in covering some internal gaps (notably in; governance, record keeping, and market access). Given the low-income levels of some of the MBOs, and the need to build sustainable working relationships, the CSPs never charged any service fees except their transport costs from their locations to the MBO locations/ training sites and back. There is an increasing awareness among the MBOs of the importance of CSPs and the MBOs are gradually accepting to pay fees for services of the CSPs.