VALUE ADDITION AND QUALITY FOOD TRADE
The Feed the Future Uganda Inclusive Agricultural Markets (FtF IAM) Activity is supporting Agri Evolve, a coffee processing company based in the Kasese district, to identify and invest in opportunities that improve smallholder farmers’ supply chain through driving business growth and economic benefit. The intervention will improve farmers’ livelihoods through coffee production and trade. To create farmers’ and community awareness about the company’s vision, on Saturday, April 29, Agri Evolve celebrated their open day as part of corporate social responsibility. Over 500 participants including Agri Evolve staff, farmers, district officials, the National Planning Authority (NPA), Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), and development partners (FtF IAM, Emata, and Sustainable Trade initiative) attended. During the event, Agri Evolve Director, Jonny Rowland, informed the community about the company’s acquisition of an export license and its current demand for quality coffee that conforms to the market requirements. Farmers toured the coffee processing facility to understand the different processing stages before export. Additionally, the community tasted the brewed coffee and appreciated the quality and aroma. The open day event is one of Agri Evolve’s strategies targeting to build trust and strengthen their relationship with the farmers and community hence improving local sourcing opportunities and building resilience and a sustainable supply of raw materials while improving the market opportunities and incomes for smallholder farmers.
RAISING AWARENESS ON COUNTERFEIT INPUTS
In partnership with the Anti-Counterfeit Network (ACN) Africa the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), FtF IAM seeks to increase the performance of the agricultural inputs sector by raising customer awareness and building the capacity of institutions to tackle counterfeit agricultural inputs (seeds, fertilizer, chemicals) in the market. Under this intervention, ACN is spearheading the “Fake is Fake” campaign against counterfeit agricultural products. The campaign uses music and radio to increase demand for information and action against counterfeit agricultural products. To this end, ACN sent out a call to the public for original song compositions against counterfeit agricultural products and carried out song auditions where the best songs were selected. Ahead of the campaign launch slotted for Friday, May 5, this week three most listened to radio stations in Mbale district, Elgon sub-region, played five of the composed anti-counterfeit songs. The radio stations further committed to giving the songs extended play as part of their contribution to the campaign.
STRENGTHENING THE SEED SYSTEM IN KARAMOJA
FtF IAM has collaborated with MAAIF and the National Agriculture Research Organization (NARO), to train farmers on seed certification services. MAAIF conducts seed inspection and certification to ensure conformity with national and international seed/planting materials and agro-chemical control requirements, for improved food security, nutrition, and household income. This week, FtF IAM facilitated MAAIF and NARO to conduct a training on seed inspection and the seed traceability system for 18 (2 women) District Agricultural Officers (DAOs) from nine districts of the Karamoja subregion in the Moroto district. The trained DAOs will be confirmed by MAAIF as new seed inspectors who will be inspecting fields of seed multipliers and support in the processes of seed certification. This intervention will decentralize and extend seed inspection and certification services closer to seed multipliers, for example, registered seed multipliers and seed companies will easily register their crops with MAAIF and request for inspection electronically using the traceability system thus shortening the processes of seed certification and saving time and costs for both seed multipliers and inspectors hence increasing production, traceability, and availability of quality seeds for farmers which in turn increases farmer productivity and incomes.