A group of youth who have qualified in agriculture and veterinary medicine has joined the Learn with Grandma community program of improving the quality of agriculture and food security services. They have realized that modernizing agriculture is critical to empowering the poor and vulnerable. Providing smallholder farmers with better extension services, quality inputs, and credit will improve their livelihoods and further contribute to poverty reduction.
Given the limited resources available at the moment, we are adopting some affordable and scalable approaches because rural poverty is complex. The team is also proposing to adopt a system similar to what One Acre Fund uses. This will offer a complete bundle of services, using a market-based model that helps our organization remain financially sustainable and expand to reach more and more farmers every year.
Generally, Uganda’s economy relies heavily on Agriculture. About a third of Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is accounted for by Agriculture. In Uganda, the Agricultural sector meets about 90% of the national food needs and it generates more than 70% of the country’s export revenues.
The socio-economic benefits of Agriculture can be presented in terms of: Food supply; source of employment; source of raw materials for industries; source of capital; a recreational activity for the elderly; and source of medicinal products
Food supply Agriculture provides food needed to give us energy to engage in productive activities. The food comes from crops such as cereals, vegetables and fruits, and from livestock products, such as eggs, meat and milk. Proper feeding promotes good health. A healthy nation leads to enhanced productivity in all sectors. This ensures that development takes place.
Agriculture accounts for a large part of Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This means that many Ugandans, especially those living in rural areas, are engaging, either directly or indirectly, in the agricultural sector. Direct involvement in the agricultural sector is when one actually works on the farms. This can be as a farm manager or any kind of casual worker in the farm. Indirect involvement can be when one works in a crop processing company or any other industry that uses agricultural produce. Those working in industries that manufacture farm inputs and other agrochemicals are also under the indirect employment category. From these, we draw that indeed Agriculture is a crucial industry.
Here is how our proposed model works:
- Asset-Based Loans. Farmers receive high-quality seeds and fertilizer on credit, and we offer a flexible repayment system that allows them to pay back their loans in any amount throughout the loan term.
- Delivery. We deliver inputs to locations within walking distance of every farmer we serve.
- Training. Farmers receive training throughout the season on modern agricultural techniques.
- Market Facilitation. We offer crop storage solutions and teach farmers about market fluctuations, so that they can time crop sales to maximize profits.