This Agricultural and Rural Finance Platform is a page dedicated to the online dissemination of Agricultural and Rural Finance information. It serves as a repository of non-proprietary information collated from various contributing stakeholders. We hope that you will find the information helpful / useful, and invite you to contribute.
The arrival of 2019 was celebrated with excitement almost everywhere. However, it came with increased prices of food commodities like beef which rose by Shs 2,000 in many towns.
Food prices keep going up, it would seem, every passing year. A number of factors are said to cause the rising food prices, including our unplanned population growth, the country’s rapid urbanization and an expanding class of well off people that consume animal protein foodstuffs.
The Africa Agriculture Status Report (AAS) commissioned in 2017 by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) points out, “Africa’s recent pattern of growth, based on urbanization without industrialization has increased rather than reduced the need for an agricultural transformation.”
More people working in urban centers and others in salaried employment elsewhere are taking up farming as a way of reducing their expenditure on food and earning extra income from selling farm products.
The re... Read more
The plant grows best when the temperature is from 18 to 38°C and with a dry weather for about a month before harvesting.
Pigeon peas grow in a variety of agro-ecological zones and are well adapted to semi-arid climate conditions. In sub-Saharan Africa it is widely grown in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique for subsistence, domestic and international markets.
As drought become common and dry lands expand due to climate change, pigeon peas will continue becoming important for managing food security and nutritional situation in Africa.
Unlike other legumes, pigeon peas is one of the few crop species that can utilise iron bound efficiently making it capable of producing appreciable yields even under soil PH limiting conditions which are widespread in Sub Sahara Africa.
Pigeon peas are perennial shrub that is commonly grown as an annual crop. It has very slow initial development after planting. With a deep taproot, pigeon peas are able... Read more
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According to Catherine Atai, a seed multiplier at Kakusi-Igola in Serere District, intercropping method helps farmers get rid of the destructive weeds such as the deadly striga and stem borers.
The goal for any farmer, small or large, should be to get the most food out of their available space. One great practice is intercropping. Catherine Atai, a seed multiplier at Kakusi-Igola in Serere District, started looking into alternative cropping systems in 2016.
Today, her two-acre land is intercropped with ground nuts, sorghum, chia seeds and simsim.
Intercropping has boosted Atai’s returns by increasing yield and lowering inputs for weed and disease control. Atai also sees less insect damage in her crops.
Catherine was advised at the National Semi Arid Resource Research Institute (NaSARRI) to try to beat some pests by inter-cropping and it is working wonders. If we can reduce use of insecticides, we would be happy as farmers. When inputs reduc... Read more
Julius Bataamye, 49, is an accomplished commercial farmer. But as executive secretary at Uganda Petroleum College, Kigumba, few can imagine him on the farm pushing wheelbarrow-loads of animal waste, collecting chicken droppings and tending gardens. When Bataamye was in primary school, his father often sent him to a one Mulungwa, a resident of Butansi who was married to his (Bataamye's) auntie, to borrow cash to pay school fees. He was a farmer.
The professional lawyer owns a multi-million JB Farm in Naminage, Kamuli district. Sitting on 102 acres, JB Farm has a piggery with 1,250 pigs, 62 heifers and 39 calves, 409 goats, 79 sheep, 150 turkeys, 10,000 layers, 40 exotic rabbits and a modern incubator that hatches 1,500 chicks every month.
The farm also has a six-acre banana plantation, 1,000 mango trees, 2,000 coffee trees, nine acres of rice and a fish pond with 5,000 mmale (catfish) and tilapia.
When Bataamye was in primary school, hi... Read more
John Michael Akol and his partners started the agri-business with Shs50m loan from the Micro-finance Support Centre (MSC). Their farm has since expanded to include a piggery section
John Michael Akol, the chairman of a Soroti District based farming group, Dadaag Uganda Limited rallied his associates to secure and profit from a Shs50m loan from Microfinance Support Centre (MSC) that has changed their course of life.
Citrus fruit farm
A visit to their demonstration farm on the outskirts of Soroti Town lays bare why the group has emerged successful in their ventures. A lush green vegetation of citrus fruits seedlings such as apples, Valencia orange and Tomkins mango welcome one.
The group farms on six acres in total with oranges occupying two acres, apples one, oranges one and mangoes two. Nearly 10 workers are busy on the mango and orange nursery beds going through their paces with precision.
To Akol, all this was seemingl... Read more
As you descend towards Bukomansimbi Town, scenes of coffee processing factories on both the left and right hand of the road, welcome you. The town, which is the administrative and commercial centre of Bukomansimbi District, lies on the main highway between Masaka and Sembabule, is approximately 26km by road northwest of Masaka, the largest city in the sub-region
The area’s rapid growth was set off after Bukomansimbi got district status in 2010.
“One would lie to you if they told you that there is any other major income earning business apart from Coffee. We have over 10 coffee processing plants, each employing close to 20 youth,” says Dan Busuulwa, a coffee trader, adding, “any first time visitor in Bukomansimbi can easily smell this.”
A lot of business ventures flourish in the town. These range from schools, shops dealing in a number of merchandise, and coffee processing factories. Resty Namukwaya, a hotel worker in the area says the business... Read more
The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has launched a new project called the ‘Enhancing National Food Security through Increased Rice Production Project.’ The project which was officially launched by Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Sempijja the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries was designed by the Ministry to support production of rice in the districts of Bugiri and Bugweri.
According to the Minister, this project is considered as a channel for increasing production and productivity, increasing household incomes, increasing exports, value addition and availability of water for agricultural production.
As one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, Uganda is progressing towards middle income status and is on track to attain the ‘Sustainable Development Goal’ of ending hunger and all forms of malnutrition by the year 2030.
One major challenge however is that about 68% of our people in Uganda are... Read more
Short-horned bush crickets, also known as grasshoppers, are rich in protein, fat and fiber.
And they just might be an answer to Uganda’s malnutrition challenges, says Dorothy Nakimbugwe, a senior lecturer in the Department of Food Technology and Human Nutrition at Makerere University.
“Grasshoppers are a delicacy, but they are seasonal,” she says. “Mass breeding of grasshoppers could be part of the solution to malnutrition problems and protein crisis in sub-Saharan Africa.”
Launched in April and now well underway, the collaborative project of Makerere University and the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology aims to breed grasshoppers year-round. The bugs are reared in a university lab, where it takes about two months for each grasshopper to grow from an egg into an edible insect. When ready, the grasshoppers will be made available to a variety of partners to distribute and sell year... Read more
Agribusiness will become the ‘new oil” on the continent, African Investment Forum participants said, fueling the motor of inclusive growth. “Agriculture is a key priority for the African Development Bank, through our Feed Africa strategy,” reiterated Jennifer Blanke, the African Development Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development.
Understand that by transforming Africa’s agriculture sector it will become the engine that drives Africa’s economic transformation through increased income, better jobs higher on the value chain, improved nutrition, and so on.
Some agribusiness leaders said there is a need to invest US$45 billion per year to harness the power of agriculture and move up the value chain to create jobs and wealth.
At present, only US$7 billion is invested in the sector. Investments from the private sector, leaders said, will create the adequate environment and enhance the emergence... Read more
The Deputy Governor Bank of Uganda Louis Kasekende has advised Ugandan farmers to adopt contract farming system which he says can easily help them to get connected to agricultural produce buyers.
Kasekende said farmers are not accessing the market for their produce because they are not connected to bulky buyers such as brewing companies, seed companies among others that need agricultural produces as raw material.
“Farmers need to embrace contract farming if they are to access market both internally and regionally. Farmers will be forced to transform from peasantry to commercial farming because they are sure of the market,” Kasekende said.
Kasekende made the remarks during the Agriculture Financing for African Agriculture Master Class Conference organized by Uganda Agribusiness Alliance in collaboration with other agencies such as Uganda Bankers Association and African Union at Speke Resort Munyonyo.
Contract farming can be defined as agricultural p... Read more
He is a beekeeper that has also been breeding grasshoppers and crickets for some years now and it was his rather unique farming activities that have continued to generate income for him.
A year earlier, some effort was started by grasshopper trappers in Masaka Municipality, to breed crickets. They chose to begin with crickets before proceeding to breed grasshoppers which they claimed required more working space.
One of them, also a poultry farmer, had boosted his chickens’ egg production by adding dry grasshopper wings powder to the feeds.
Millions of people eat insects as they are, or processed – for instance into protein powders to serve as supplements and into livestock feeds. Crickets according to Kiwanuka may be used in making poultry and fish feeds.
Kiwanuka has realised that grasshoppers are a delicacy in Uganda whose production ought to be tapped into for income generation and food security. According to an article in the (on... Read more
Bitter berries, commonly known as katunkuma was regularly eaten as the main sauce in a practice that still exists today in some homes. However, some people eat it as a side dish because of its health benefits, among them being an immune booster for children and the elderly, who are prone to diseases.
Nonetheless, given its perishability coupled with lack of storage facilities, Jacob Kato a farmer in Kyampisi village, Kayunga Sub-county, Kayunga District, has discovered that drying the vegetable using solar driers lengthens its shelf life while maintaining its nutritional value.
Kato says he learnt about the solar drying technique from fellow farmers in the district, who were carrying out fruit drying. They were using solar driers to dry pineapples, pawpaws, jack fruit and apple bananas.
Kato owns a company called JK Plantations, under which he carries out his work. He carries out farming activities on a four-acre piece of land of whi... Read more
Imports from other countries have overtaken Uganda’s fish exports into Europe- a scenario that industry players say could explain the price drop.
This state of affairs which is distressing players has seen the price of a kilogramme exported drop to $3.5 (Shs13, 300) down from $4.7 (Shs17, 860) it sold around the same time last year, thus indicating a 34 percent fall. This, according to players, has been worsened by stiff competition from Europe’s indigenous fish and imports from other countries such as China.
Europe is Uganda’s leading fish export market destination commanding over 80 per cent of the country’s product.
Sharing their ordeal with Prosper Magazine, Mr Sujal Goswami, the chairperson, Uganda Fish Processers and Exporters Association, said: “The prices have been going down yet we cannot stop production but continue to sustain the market at a loss.”
He said the demand is low and the European indigenous species is affecting Uganda’s fish whic... Read more
For most farmers, working with tractors is the desirable way to till large chunks of land in order to earn sizeable profit. But the cost of tractors holds back the dreams of such small-holder farmers.
Joseph Nsereko, a groundnut and maize farmer in Kiryandongo District, who acquired a two-wheel walking tractor in 2017 says the multi-purpose hand pushed machine which can do the work of 10 able-bodied men, is the new hope. It is called a walking tractor because the person operating it has to walk behind it.
Before he bought the tractor in 2017, Nsereko says, he used to hire farm labourers each at Shs7,000 per day to till his land. This was accompanied by feeding costs as they went about their work. All this changed when he visited a friend’s farm in Luweero.
... Read moreI realised I could save for farm input and invest in other farm activities. When I do not operate the tractor myself, I hire a labourer. I only buy fuel and the farm is ready
Farm-gate tea prices, especially in the districts of Bushenyi, Mitooma, Sheema, Rubirizi and Buhweju have been falling in the last three months, leaving farmers to count losses.
The farmers most of whom are shareholders of Igara Growers Tea Factory which has over 7,000 members, indicate that prices for the green leaf tea has been falling, from Shs600 in August to Shs550 in September and then Shs470 this month.
Speaking at a farmers meeting in Nyakashaka Trading Centre, Buhweju District, farmers said the cost of production continues to skyrocket against low returns.
“Tea growing is a business, some of us operate on bank loans and when prices fall in this way it means banks will take our property we tendered as security,” said Mr Mujurizi,a tea farmer but also district councilor in Buhweju.
Former Buhweju MP Ephraim Biraro said despite having a company that should keep farmers informed on what is happening in the market, they only dictate to them with prices.
Te... Read more
Maize farmers continue to lose in times of bumper harvests. However, scientists engaged in developing improved varieties at the National Crop Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) in Namulonge are looking at available options to reverse this painful trend. To them the production of maize and other priority crops such as rice and beans is inadequate as far as commercialisation and satisfying the export market is concerned.
NaCRRI is working with partners under Technologies for Africa Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) with an aim to boost maize production by 30 per cent in order to make Africa food secure and gain a sizeable share in the export market.
This project covers Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Cameroon, Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique and Ethiopia.
Dr Jonas Chianu from Africa Development Bank, who is coordinating the project, explains that funding worth $120 million (Shs457b) has so far been allocated... Read more
President Yoweri Museveni has called upon the leaders of Rubirizi District to help people in their communities move from subsistence farming to commercial agriculture so that all wananchi improve their household incomes.
The President made the appeal during a meeting with Rubirizi District leaders at his country home in Rwakitura, Kiruhuura District. Rubirizi District is in South Western Uganda and comprises 2 constituencies of Bunyaruguru and Katerera. “You must wake up your people to start commercial farming and leave subsistence farming. Anyone with land should go into commercial farming,” he said.
President Museveni stressed that people should get out of the practice of growing food only for consumption but focus more on commercial agriculture. He advised the leaders to promote the adaption of the four-acre model of farming to people with small pieces of land.
Under the four-acre model of farming, a farmer can u... Read more
Maize is one of the crops capable of combating food insecurity but at the same time, an income generating activity in most parts of the country. It is consumed widely in the country, the reason why it is grown by almost every household especially in the Albertine region.
However, like any other crop, maize is vulnerable to various challenges, ranging from pests and diseases to adverse weather conditions like drought as this deprives the soil of moisture that is needed for proper plant growth.
Most farmers also cannot afford irrigation systems to water their crops until the rains surface.
To help such farmers, researchers at Bulindi Zonal Agricultural Research Development Institute based in Hoima district, have embarked on the promotion of planting maize in permanent planting basins (PPBs) technology.
According to Jude Abitegeka, the farm manager at Bulindi ZARDI, the PPB technology involves digging up of holes called basins in which maize... Read more
Agriculture is a science, art, practice and business of cultivating soil, producing crops, and raising livestock; farming. The history of agriculture dates back thousands of years, and its development has been driven and defined by greatly different climates, cultures, and technologies. However, all farming generally relies on techniques to expand and maintain the lands suitable for raising domesticated species. Agriculture is the only culture on the earth which doesn't have an alternative. Which is why a research project on the Agribusiness community in Uganda has been launched under the theme: "Progress and Impact of AGRI-QUEST"
The AGRI-QUEST project was premised on the foundation that despite the benefits of embracing ethical behaviour and quality standards in agri-businesses to strengthen competitiveness and sustainability for accelerated transformation, value chain actors (VCAs) in Uganda do not exhibit sufficient competence in e... Read more