KilimoMart Supporting Small Scale Farmers in Value Addition
Value addition simply is the process of creating and increasing more features and adding economic value to products and services when selling a product, therefore value added refers to extra features of a product that will in turn boost its success in any kind of market. It is true that the addition of value can increase the price of products and services but the advantage is that the market is readily available and that consumers are willing to pay. KilimoMart is focused on building the skills of small-scale farmers, especially women and youths and empowering them in overcoming economic challenges. KilimoMart works to ensure supporting small-scale farmers (especially the youth and women) to become more economically productive. KilimoMart focuses on organic products given the health benefits related to the consumption of these products.
As KilimoMart, an initiative of small-scale farmers was created to support market access, it uses very simple approach to empower small-scale farmers. Currently, KilimoMart identifies business-minded small-scale farmers and their value chain of interest and builds their capacity in Farming As A Business (FAAB) and value addition using a unique and tested model.
To ensure that small-scale farmers are producing organic products, Kilimomart uses the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) an approach to locally guarantee organic production in communities at a low cost. After harvest, small-scale farmers are supported in value addition to ensure quality and increase farmers’ earnings. These products are then uploaded to the KilimoMart App where prospective consumers can purchase the product.
KilimoMart Application has contributed to achieving some of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed by the United Nations to be a blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all. The KilimoMart Application strives to ensure that small-scale farmers achieve the different demands of the SDGs through supporting value addition.
KilimoMart is also committed to assessing and building the capacities of small-scale farmers. This also includes value addition in different districts for example Nebbi, Gulu and Zombo.
“From my market experience, I produced a lot of tomatoes last season and middle men bought a box at 150,000 but when I visited the market I found out that the box was at 300,000 which made me feel so bad because that would have been my money only if I had added value to the tomatoes.” Tomato small scale farmer from Nebbi district
Finding ways to connect small-scale farmers to the market is key to reducing the perpetual rural poverty and hunger. Governments need to invest in local infrastructure, strengthen business services and improve farmers’ skills, while extension systems are needed to upgrade production and market performance. This article explores the changing role of agricultural extension services and the growing focus on small-scale farmers, outlining how agriculture can provide a cure to poverty.
In conclusion, thousands of small-scale farmers are seeking ways to improve the productivity of their farms and improve their market performance. Modernizing extension and improving market linkages can play a vital role in improving their prospects. Supporting farmers in this way improves their market access and enhances performance in building business relationships in markets.