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The Joseph Initiative and Asili Farms

The Joseph Initiative and Asili Farms, sister companies, is a group that runs farms in different parts of Uganda and have developed these materials out of 7 years of farm experience and trials. The group is one of the largest grain producers and traders in Uganda with Farms in Masindi, Kasese, Amuru and Oyam Districts in Uganda. The major activities of the groups include production and trade in grain. They sell the grain produced from their farms but also buy grain from small holder farmers in the catchment areas.

Working in partnership with the FtF IAM Activity, they seek to increase knowledge and extension to SHFs growing Soy and Maize in Kasese and Amuru Districts of Uganda. The emergence of the Covid 19 pandemic in the world and indeed in Uganda was a major disruptor the social and economic lives of people especially the small holder farmers in Uganda. The Covid 19 travel restrictions, closure of businesses was bound to affect the way small holder farmers would access information, goods and services. This also affected farm labour availability as well as limiting the government extension system which ordinarily responds to farmers through their groups. (Group meetings were not allowed)

USAID Uganda working with its partner The Joseph Initiative and Asili Farms have developed easy to understand innovative E-extension materials that promote knowledge and information on best practices for the growing of Maize and Soya in Amuru District in Northern Uganda and Kasese Districts in South Western Uganda. The materials provide basic knowledge from land preparation, planting, care as well as Post-harvest handling. The materials also provide small holders with information on the different pests and diseases with simple pictures of how the infected plants look like, the pictures of the pests, worms, weeds and the corresponding herbicides and pesticides to be used to deal with the challenges. The handbook that was developed is being translated in two major local languages and is complimented by a toll-free line, a 3-minute video in simple format that can be shared and viewed on phone through WhatsApp. It is also linked to a micro site that has been developed by the partners. The toll-free line is also advertised on the handbook and the video. Farmers can call the toll-free line to ask any question and get more clarification on the information in the handbook. The extension materials are complimentary to the government extension services and will be rolled out to other farmers and districts as the markets develop and become more resilient

Together the partners would like to reach 5000 SHFs with basic extension and knowledge on good PHH, improved practices, production and productivity in the Maize and Soy value chain. This partnership will also see Joseph Initiatives purchase grain from the farmers who adopt the good practices and maintain quality grain.

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