Background and Objectives:
Small-scale farmers in Uganda cover 80% of the country’s agricultural sector, implying that they feed most of the country’s population but still experience economic challenges in terms of enterprise selection, knowledge and information gaps, exploitation from the middlemen, high taxes, limited access to financial resources, limited access to markets, capital, and gender inequality, among others, that prohibit them from operating successful enterprises. ESAFF Uganda initiated the Agroecology Business Hub to support small-scale farmers in addressing these challenges and fostering innovation, thus improving small-scale farmers livelihoods while ensuring food security.
ESAFF Uganda understands the importance of agroecological businesses for transforming food systems. ESAFF Uganda launched the Agroecology Business Hub to support small-scale farmers, especially women, to improve their livelihoods through skilling and empowerment to enable them to overcome economic challenges in terms of enterprise selection, market access, financial resources, knowledge, capital, and gender inequality, among others.
Through the Agroecology Business Hub, ESAFF Uganda works towards:
Building a case for the need for sustainable investments and supportive framework conditions for agroecological enterprises through skilling small-scale farmers, empowering small-scale farmers to overcome challenges in production, and gathering proof that agroecology can be profitable.
Ensuring livelihoods are resilient and profitable by empowering small-scale farmers, especially women and youth, to improve productivity and profitability
Pillars of the Agroecology Business Hub:
The Agroecology Business Hub is designed to support all the business ideas and practices that small-scale farmers engage in to improve their livelihoods by ensuring sustainable investments and supporting the establishment of profitable small-scale farmer-led enterprises. The Agroecology Business Hub nurtures and supports innovative agroecological solutions through research, development, and incubation programs, provides comprehensive training programs and educational resources to empower farmers with the knowledge and skills needed for successful operation of agroecological enterprises, facilitates market access for agroecological products, connecting farmers with conscious consumers and sustainable supply chains, advocates for policies that incentivize and support agroecological practices at local, regional, and national levels, then fosters a vibrant and collaborative community by organizing events, workshops, and networking opportunities for stakeholders in the agroecology sector. The Agroecology Business Hub has three pillars:
Business Capacity Development: The Agroecology Business Hub uses the Farming As A Business (FAAB) model, which is a well-proven model for building small-scale farmers’ capacity to engage in farming as a business.
Access to affordable credit: The Agroecology Business Hub supports small-scale farmers, especially women, to access affordable credit to be able to invest in business.
Access to favourable markets: The Agroecology Business Hub addresses the exploitative markets that are keeping small-scale farmers, especially women, in poverty.
How the Agroecology Business Hub works:
The Agroecology Business Hub supports over 16 group agroecological enterprises in the country and hopes to impact the lives of more small-scale farmers. The Agroecology Business Hub maps enterprises or they apply with the details of their line of work and the kind of support they require, a business assessment is conducted to determine whether the interested businesses meet the requirements and the exact kind of support needed , then terms and conditions are developed and agreed to by both parties and a Memorandum of Understanding is signed, a business support plan is then developed and both the enterprises and the Agroecology Business Hub implement the agreed Business Support Plan , the Agroecology Business Hub sets key performance indicators and finally once the supported enterprises realize profits, their successes are celebrated and implemented measures towards their success is disseminated to the wider community.
For more information:
Watch a video about the Agroecology Business Hub here: Video on Agroecology Business Hub
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