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Grants for Ugandan farmers upgrade food security systems

 

Six grain processors and marketers will receive a total of nearly $700,000 in grants to upgrade facilities and broaden capacity to connect many more thousands of Ugandan farmers with national and regional markets, as announced at a December event in Kampala. These grants, from USAID’s Market Linkages Initiative (MLI), managed by CARANA, play a key role in promoting growth in food staples and food security throughout the region.

 

Many smallholder grain farmers lack proper knowledge in crop conditioning practices, such as harvesting, threshing, drying and packing. They also face challenges in grain storage, getting information on more marketable crops, and finding steady buyers for their produce. This forces many farmers to have to sell their grains at harvest time for low prices and then have to buy higher-priced food during the planting period, leading to food insecurity, and even famine.

The grants directly address the knowledge and infrastructure gaps. For example, the money will help Export Trading Uganda mobilize at least 3,000 grain farmers to re-start growing grains such as soya beans, beans and maize for its grain processing facility in Tororo and rehabilitate 30 village aggregation centers/stores (VACs) in in Eastern Uganda. AgroWays will be able to expand its grain bulking center (GBC) from the current 2,500MT to 5,500MT, increasing its grain drying/cleaning capacity from 4MT/hr to 15MT/hr and double its VACs from four to eight. This will substantially reduce congestion at its GBC in Jinja and help an additional 1,200 smallholder farmers in the Busoga region to access better markets, such as the World Food Program through the warehouse receipt system.

Other recipients include Upland Rice Millers, Farmers Center (FACE), Kapeeka Maize Growers Association (MGA), and Kisiita Area Cooperative Enterprise (ACE).

Published December 2010