Wednesday, 13 January 2016 00:00

Agriculture and Food Security

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Our agriculture programme in Uganda funded by MasterCard Foundation aims to improve the livelihood and food security of rural populations by increasing their productivity. This often involves changing subsistence agriculture to more commercial farming as these practices are expected to generate greater income, create more jobs in the rural areas and ensure better food security for the poor. Through training and access to information on crop production, providing credit services through BRAC’s microfinance programme, and supplying high quality inputs (disease resistant seeds, fertilisers and pesticides) at an affordable cost, BRAC helps farmers in Uganda improve their overall agricultural productivity. 

At the community level, the agricultural services are delivered through self-employed entrepreneurs called community agriculture promoters (CAPs), who serve as outreach agents. These entrepreneurs are typically farmers who are women, selected from BRAC's microfinance members and also non group members. This approach is a synergy between the microfinance platform and agriculture services, which is an outcome of the multifaceted benefits of microfinance.

JSDF (Japan Social Development Fund) through the World Bank funded ‘An Innovative, Integrated Approach to Enhance Smallholder Family Nutrition’ project (three years project) starting from January 2014 to improve the nutrition of an estimated 19,200 vulnerable smallholder households in Mbarara and Masaka districts, by promoting the cultivation and consumption of nutrient-rich crops including bio-fortified high beta carotene – precursor of vitamin-A rich Orange Flesh Sweet Potato (OFSP) - and improving nutrition and care practices of children aged under-2 years , adolescent girls, and pregnant women. The project started its intervention in four branch offices of Lukaya, Kyotera, Kabwohe and Ibanda. It also focuses on the supply chain of bio fortified vitamin-A rich OFSP through vine producers followed by marketing of farmers’ produce with the help of marketing agents. As part of agriculture research for development, demonstration and research plots have been developed in each of the above mentioned branch locations. Participatory variety selections as well as rapid multiplication of OFSP vines have also been completed.  

Community Connector (CC) is one of Uganda’s leading food security projects. It is an integrated agriculture and nutrition project designed and funded by USAID/Uganda through the US Government’s Feed the Future Initiative and in accordance with Uganda’s agricultural sector development strategy and investment plan and the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan. The project improves food security and nutrition of women and children aged under-5 years in rural, underserved communities in northern and south-western Uganda through agriculture training, nutrition education and behavioural change, as well as savings groups and microfinance activities.

BRAC’s Seed Production Centre (BRACSPC) was established in Nakaseke in 2009 to supply quality seed to farmers. In 2011, BRAC Uganda created the BRAC Uganda Social Business Enterprise Ltd (BSBEUL). Construction of a new, modernised seed processing plant was completed and it was inaugurated in May 2015. A variety of research activities take place at the centre in conjunction with the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) and National Crop Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) to evaluate the yield and adaptability of maize, rice and high beta-carotene content -precursor of vitamin A - using OFSP partnership with COP and Harvest Plus and potential for introduction of bio fortified iron rich beans (IRB), yellow cassava and high zinc rice.

Tissue Culture Lab (TCL): BRAC Uganda has also set up a tissue culture lab (TCL) at the 53-acre BRACSPC, in Nakaseke.

Current projects

Duration

Donor/partners

Objectives

Community Connector Project

June 2012 to September 2016

FHI-Community Connector

Strengthening linkages between livelihoods, agricultural production, and food security at HH level. Integration of nutrition and agriculture activities with women empowerment at the HH level.

Training and capacity building

Agriculture & Livestock

April 2011 to March 2016

MasterCard Foundation

Train and support model farmers, horticultural nursery operators and general farmers.

An Innovative, Integrated Approach to Enhance Smallholder Family Nutrition

June 2012 to June 2017

World Bank (Japan Social Development fund)

To improve nutrition of an estimated 19200 vulnerable smallholder households in Mbarara and Masaka districts, by promoting the cultivation and consumption of nutrient-rich crops and improving nutrition and care practices of under-2 children, adolescent girls, and pregnant women.

 

Read 4479 times Last modified on Wednesday, 18 October 2017 08:43