For the last two years, Rikolto has been implementing a big project in Uganda, which aimed at linking smallholder staple food surpluses to regional markets. The project helped over 20,000 farmers to improve the quality and the quantity of their surplus crops trough improved post-harvest handling and storage. We also supported farmers' cooperatives to trade surpluses of three key staple food crops (maize, rice and beans) in regional markets - with a particular focus on Kenya.
At the end of the project we noticed that farmers received 12% better prices for their commodities relative to the prevailing market prices. This is due to the enhanced bargaining power of farmers as a result of the aggregated and/or collective sales through Village Aggregation Centres coupled with the fact that farmers supplied high-quality grain products on the market, attracting higher prices.
By the end of the project 11 farmer organisations participating in the programme were conducting quality checks (moisture content, colour, foreign matter) at the time of aggregation, and documenting the findings.
As a result, a total of 16,453 MT of grains have been traded over the past two years (see infographics), which resulted in a total of 8,700,000 dollars in trade earnings. Grains that do not meet the quality requirements of the markets are either rejected at the point of delivery by farmer organisations or subject to improvement recommendations to the farmers for future acceptation into the Village Aggregation Centres.
This project was funded through the UK Governement's Department of International Development Food Trade East & Southern Africa Programme.