|The construction of grain storage depots for local farmers marked the first step in Self Help Africa's efforts to set up producer co-ops amongst small-holding farmers in Kamuli, Uganda. |
SHA staff worked with local government and with beneficiary partners in the Buyende and Namwandwa sub-counties, and built which were designed not just as a place to depot for the storage and collection of grain, but also as a local centre where farmer groups might meet.
'Farmers are now able to pool resources, and it is far easier for them to arrange transportation, and to get their produce to market’, explains project spokesman Charles Mugoowa.
The new stores have been sited adjacent to local government facilities in the two sub-counties, and have been built with manual labour provided by the two beneficiary communities.
‘Villagers in the area supplied the bricks, sand and aggregates for the construction, while Self Help supported with the provision of building timber, iron sheeting, and some of the skilled labour that was required’.
Self Help has since appointed it’s first co-operatives development officer, who is responsible for establishing and organising local farmers groups, and building their capacity so that they can market, and even buy their farm inputs collectively in the future.
‘Individual small-holding farmers had little chance of reaching the bigger markets with any surplus produce because of the volumes being produced, but it makes far more economic sense for them, and for the grain buyers since these people banded together, and stored their surpluses in the one place for collection and sale’, Charles Mugoowa added.
The two grain storage banks built in Kamuli have also become centres for providing information and farmer training activities, and are a site from which seed, fertiliser and other inputs are distributed and sold.
Self Help Africa in Uganda
|Self Help Africa began working in Uganda in the late 1990's, initially on a three year pilot project in Asamuk, and latterly with area based projects in Amuria and Kamuli.|
A number of new area based projects have been started by the organisation in the country in recent times.