30,000 smallholder cotton farmers from the West Nile region will benefit from out grower programmes backed by AgDevCo’s Smallholder Development Unit (SDU).
The program will equip the farmers with Skills on how to improve cotton productivity to increase household incomes.
To ensure that the program yield positive results AgDevCo’s Smallholder Development Unit has patterned with local Cotton ginning company GADC to conduct the training.
According to a statement AgDevCo’s Smallholder Development Unit released recently, GADC will be offering extension services to cotton farmers in the region at a cost of $810,000.
In Uganda, AgDevCo has been supporting agriculture businesses that have linkages to small-scale and emergent farmers mostly those operating from Northern Uganda.
Cotton production in West Nile region is again picking up, years after the low prices had discouraged farmers from growing it.
Yumbe and Moyo districts have seen a remarkable increment in the quantity of the cotton produced. As the harvesting season kicks in, farmers are expecting bumper harvests and increased incomes from their sales.
In the past, cotton was a major cash crop in several districts in the West Nile region including Moyo, Adjumani, Yumbe and Nebbi Districts. Arua also had a sizeable number of sub counties producing cotton.
The out grower programmes will be replicated in other African countries such as Ghana, Malawi and Zambia where AgDevCo’s Smallholder Development Unit will be funding Agricultural related projects.
The will includeimproving sorghum production in Ghana, training farmers in mixed farming, livestock and drought tolerant crops farming in Zambia among other projects.
In Malawi, Malawian groundnut processor and AgDevCo investee Afri-Oils will purchase groundnuts from 15,000 farmers, helping them to transition away from tobacco farming.
The SDU’s 355,000 will support training to improve groundnut quality and access to higher-value regional markets.
The SDU operates alongside AgDevCo’s core activity of providing long-term debt and equity to SMEs.
In partnership with the Mastercard Foundation and UKAID, the SDU partners with agri-businesses to co-finance equitable and sustainable out grower schemes.
The SDU is on track to deliver 25 projects and benefit 490,000 farmers by 2021.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO