CARANA logo

Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda Value-Added Maize Alliance (UVAMA)

Client: United States Agency for International Development

2013–2016

Challenge

Maize is the most important food crop grown in Uganda’s Busoga region; however, smallholder farmers struggle to make a living and household food insecurity is rampant. These challenges are driven by poor production practices, losses at the post-harvest stage, weak commercial relationships, and a lack of access to finance. At the same time, there is a growing demand for high quality maize in the food and beverage industries, which prefer to source locally.

Solution

The Uganda Value Added Maize Alliance (UVAMA) was designed as a partnership between USAID, CARANA and AgroWays Ltd., a licensed grain warehouse operator, trader and processor. Additional Alliance members also participating to improve the maize value chain include Nile Breweries Limited (NBL), Maganjo Grain Millers, and the Grameen Foundation. AgroWays serves as the key connection between smallholder farmers and large-scale buyers, leveraging its existing farmer network and experience in the maize industry.

UVAMA is commercializing smallholder maize farmers in the Busoga region to increase saleable yield and value of maize, and developing maize-germ and maize-bran products for human consumption to improve nutritional outcomes. UVAMA is achieving this goal by (1) facilitating investment in technology and equipment; (2) training and building capacity along the value chain; and (3) improving the nutritional value of maize germ-based food products.

Impact

UVAMA’s impact is expected to be far-reaching. At least 9,500 smallholder farmers will see prices increase by an average of 30%, while post-harvest losses are expected to drop by over 50%. These results will have a significant impact on women and youth in particular, with women making up around 60% of beneficiaries the project has supported to-date. Both demographics play a core role in agricultural production, value addition, and ensuring Uganda’s economic growth given that 70% of the country’s population is under the age of 25. Further down the value chain, maize millers and processors are expected to see a 25% increase in the volume of quality grain as a result of project activities, thereby generating more valuable maize by-products for the food and beverage sectors, and making them more affordable to consumers. Through project support to UVAMA partner, Maganjo Grain Millers in the areas of product development and co-financing of new technology, the project anticipates a 10% reduction in the cost of targeted nutritious food products. These results have the potential to meet the challenges of East Africa’s rising urbanization and poverty rates, as well as its food security needs.