Feed The Future Uganda Youth Leadership For Agriculture Activity: ‘Engagement Of 4,710 Youth In Fresh Cassava Roots (FCRs) Production In Lira, Kole And Apac’

Donor: United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Chemonics International

Duration: September 2017 – September 2018

Introduction. Fresh Cassava Root (FCR) supply to the medium scale cassava processing industries in Lira and Apac using flash drying technology (Wind wood Millers Ltd (WWM) and Adyaka Wholesalers Limited (AWL) was affected by cassava biotic and a biotic stress especially the Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) and the drought stress in Northern Uganda.

The factories were set up to provide market to the small scale and medium cassava growers in Northern Uganda.  However, they did not access enough cassava roots to go fully operational.

To mitigate this, the companies planted an average of 40 acres each but this was way below the annual requirement of 360acres each to enable them operate at full capacity throughout the year.

The factories perceived a need to expand their own cassava production and also engage Small Holder Farmers (SHFs) particularly the youth in the surrounding communities to produce and supply FCR through contract farming arrangements.

SHFs are often considered to be very efficient producers in terms of labor intensity and labor-related transaction costs but they also often suffer from capital and liquidity difficulties and lack of access and/or capacity to adopt technological innovations.

Most of the youth identified were SHFs with less than 2 acres with no capital to purchase disease free improved planting material. There was a need to provide guidance and support to the companies to exploit contractual arrangements that would increase participation of the youth/smallholder farmers by identifying and implementing a small holder/youth inclusive FCR supply model.

Africa Innovations Institute (AfrII), supported the two factories to take lead in coordinating an out grower-Nucleus farm FCR supply model which enabled them to meet their FCR annual requirement.  This was done through mobilization of youth and commercial farmers into groups and building their production and business skills that led to increased production and supply of fresh cassava roots to the factories.

Aims and Objectives.  The project aimed to increase the income of 4,710 youth through their participation in an inclusive FCR supply model as cassava producers/entrepreneurs and employees in value chain stages of production and processing. As cassava producers (an acre each), 432 youth earned an annual income of approximately UGX1Million each.

Intervention.  The out grower-nucleus farm FCR supply model has engaged 432 members from 20 youth groups to supply 60% of the FCR annual requirement to the cassava factories.  The remaining FCR is met by engaging medium scale/commercial farmers to supply 15% of the FCR requirement and the factories are expanding their nucleus farms to supply up to 25% of the annual FCR requirement. These nucleus farms also acted as a source of clean planting material to the out-growers. Each nucleus farms are producing disease free planting material to plant more than 800 acres of cassava. This material is subsequently distributed to out growers under the value chain financing arrangements established.

Impact. Once all the 432 youth sell their FCR and cassava stems to the factories, the youth will earn over UGX 432million annually. The cassava production, laborers majorly youth will earn over UGX 355 for being employed in production activities in the commercial farms and youth farms.

The factories on a full day operation employ 40 laborers especially female youth per day to peel FCR for 4 hours and 5 machine operators attracting over UGX87Million per annum or more. Overall the youth by being involved in the value chain with the FCR supply model will earn over UGX 874 million.

This is increasing in the subsequent years as the factories increase the number of working hours and hence the annual FCR requirement

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