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PUM and Agriterra join forces in Uganda

PUM and Agriterra are cooperating in the BRIGHT programme in Uganda since last year. Main focus is on supporting the potato and maize value chains and setting up potato demonstration plots. PUM experts Jan Bakker and Theo Kool recently returned from Uganda evaluating the three project regions, visiting the cooperatives and farmers, and assessing the envisioned plots.  

Agriterra is an international, not-for-profit agri-agency that works in emerging and developing economies, founded by Dutch farmers’ organisations and cooperatives almost 25 years ago as an organisation for international peer-to-peer agricultural cooperation. Agriterra creates work opportunities and economic development in rural areas, which allows local farmers to generate higher sales figures and a stable income. Agriterra improves their business operations and distribution in the market with its peer-to-peer approach. Experts from the agricultural & food top sector advise their international colleagues. Agriterra also puts companies in contact with organised farmers. The result is better income distribution and strong, professional agricultural cooperatives. Read more about Agriterra.

BRIGHT project

IFDC is leading the Building Resilience and Inclusive Growth of Highland farming systems for rural Transformation (BRIGHT) project, a 4-year programme, funded by the Netherlands Embassy through the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The project is being implemented in collaboration with Agriterra, local governments, private sector actors and PUM.

BRIGHT aims to build the resilience of 106,560 highland farm households in Kigezi, Elgon and Rwenzori regions of Uganda to recover from external economic and climate-related shocks in an ever-changing context through absorption, adaptation, and transformation. In doing so, they improve food and nutritional security and incomes of all farmers, transition subsistence-oriented farm households to more market-oriented ones. BRIGHT supports households in integrated farm-planning and inclusive decision-making, introducing appropriate climate-smart agriculture technologies to strengthen local farming systems, ensuring natural resource conservation, and development of strategic value chains.

PUM’s role

PUM matched experts to provide technical assistance to the cooperatives in the BRIGHT project. Main focus is on supporting the potato and maize value chains and setting up potato demonstration plots to organise advisory trainings on pest and disease control, fertiliser application and post-harvest handling.

Two PUM experts, Jan Bakker and Theo Kool, visited Uganda evaluating the three project regions – Elgon, Rwenzori and Kigezi. They visited the cooperatives and famers to check the viability, soil quality, crops, and locations of the envisioned plots. The conclusions suggested that increasing the potency of the fertilizers and optimizing crop rotation could substantially boost harvest yields. Another finding was that all potato farmers go to market at the same time, resulting in a low price for their product. Jan Bakker and Theo Kool helped plant and fertilise the demo plots together with Agriterra.

Since their return Jan and Theo have weekly contact with Agriterra to advise on crop management. Up till now the crops look very promising. Contact with a potato processer in North Rwanda has been made to help to set up a cooperative marketing of the potatoes to help obtaining better prices for their potatoes. Agriterra will continue working out a plan with the farmers to achieve this.

Later this year, Jan Bakker will follow up with the cooperatives of BRIGHT and receive an update on how implementations are progressing.

Theo Kool
PUM expert

” I believe cooperative storage and marketing of potatoes can really help small farmers move forward.”