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Save and Revitalize smallholders agriculture an inclusive approach to engage women/youth, as over 80% of women practice subsistence farming

To increase productivity, with environmentally sustainable farming for smallholder farmers on key food security crops and reduce food waste.

Photo of Obua Godfrey
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Lead Applicant Organization Name

Rural Women and Youth Coordination Agricultural Development Project

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small NGO (under 50 employees)

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 10+ years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

LIRA

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Uganda

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Lira and Otuke

What country is your selected Place located in?

Uganda

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

We are residents and part of the community we serve. Otuke and Lira districts were selected because of their location that is lying along the regions' food belt as we put it. Meaning that it used to provide food baskets for the rest of the country and cross borders, reaching as far as Juba in south Sudan in the north, Kenya in the east and Kampala city in central Uganda as well. So to produce enough food come 2050 we need to revive the farming systems for the farming communities in the food belt regions while saving the environment, adapting and mitigating climate change and reducing food waste.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Otuke District is one of the 20 Districts still recovering from the effects of the twenty year war in the Northern region. The vast majority is rural and remote, undeveloped, with infrastructure lacking as the rest of Uganda. The main food crops grown-are Cassava, Ground Nuts, Sorghum, Beans, Maize, sweet potatoes, Ground nuts, vegetables, green gram, Pigeon peas, Yams and millet. Ways Climate Change is experienced-Prolonged droughts, High temperatures, dry streams, Change in rainfall pattern, long dry spell in March and June, unreliable rainfall. Main sources of fuel used- Firewood, Charcoal, Natural Trees, and Wild Bush. The community is a farming community, 95% practice subsistence agriculture and they speak Luo. The level of education is generally low as a result of 20 year insurgency and majority of the population are poor due to unemployment and subsistence farming which results in low productivity, consequently high malnutrition among women and children. There is high rural-urban migration especially among the youth. As the rest of the country, Otuke's growing population is putting an increasing strain on already limited resources, especially ecosystem-based agriculture as key to achieving the sustainable development goals,so as 2050 draws closer urgent action is required to address major challenges: Climate change, low productivity, food waste, and training and engaging women/ producers. Otuke as the rest of the country, basic necessities like food and clean drinking water are out of reach for far too many people as other Ugandans and refugees. One out of every four people in Uganda is malnourished and one out of every three children under the age of five is stunted due to malnourishment. Yet a majority of Ugandans, seven out of every 10, make a living in the agricultural sector. The increasing consequences of climate change are making it more difficult for Ugandan farmers to make a living. Many farmers across Uganda are reporting lower yields, which is contributing to mass malnutrition. Unequal access to quality seeds and tools are disproportionately impacting poorer Ugandan communities, leading to an even higher risk of malnutrition and stunted growth. on the other hand many farmer and communities are unable to reduce food waste that could increase availability of food for poor community.

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)

2919

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

150000

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Over 90% of Food system in Uganda is mainly produced by smallholders farmers and over 80% of which are women but these farmers faced three major challenges including: Climate change such as long droughts, erratic rainfall or unreliable rainfall, hot dry and dusty weather and more, above all, there is generally Low productivity due to subsistence agriculture and lack of agribusiness training as well, besides there is limited use of mechanization that means there is predominant use of hand tools and poor quality seeds. In addition, Food waste including losses on farm due to poor weed, diseases and pests control, as well as post harvest losses and poor food management by consumers are among the major challenges that need to be addressed concurrently so as to ensure adequate and sustainable food system for 2020 and 2050. Finally, farmers also need value addition of their produced in order to increase their income and sustain their livelihoods. Besides, East Africa including Lira, Otuke and the rest of Uganda continues to be one of the poorest regions of the world, given the above challenges hence, its population suffer from hunger and famine every year due to stagnant agricultural production and this project takes a critical step to overcome some of the reasons behind the stagnant agricultural productivity as well as food waste over the last 20 years. These include climate change, low mechanization, lack of irrigation technologies, food waste including poor post-harvest management, lack of primary processing capacity for value addition and more.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

Vision: The food vision 2050 challenge in northern Uganda is to find the way to transform agriculture into modernization. That is, the vision of how smallholder farmers cold improve productivity while saving the environment and reducing food waste as key contributor to poverty reduction and growth. Agricultural transformation requires adapting to a new environment and facing evolving challenges. One of the key challenges is therefore how to move from subsistence agriculture to modern, from low productivity to high productive agriculture and or entrepreneurship. Smallholder farming is predominantly family farming that is still very much alive in the region and has an important role in ensuring food security and supporting regional development. In our food vision, what is important is the need to have all stakeholders-including government and institutions to come together, to develop, promote ways to address the current food production challenges facing smallholder farmers to enable them reach the targets of improved productivity while saving the environment and reduce food waste at all levels as well, as the way forward to ensure food security come 2050. In all this, agri-preneurship or entrepreneurship is the key to success. Interventions for achieving wider change in smallholder agriculture and food security for the increasing population come 2050 need a three prong approach. The approaches include: Climate changes which impacts on food security and unemployment- climate change is already, hitting Africa hard and agriculture and farmers are taking the brunt, but what are the costs and how can people adapt? This vision is to approach by addressing the climate change effects, save environment by climate smart farming, and influence policy by investment decisions to improve productivity. In order to redress the situation, as farmers’ group, we are convinced that support is urgently needed for renewed investment in mechanization as one of the keys to successful agricultural development in other regions like Asia and Latin America has been mechanization. By contrast, the use of tractors in Uganda has actually declined over the years and compared with other regions; their use in Uganda has been revived by most farming areas across the country, besides, animal traction that has resulted into steady progress and high productivity. Furthermore, there is need for improvement in farm production through small-scale irrigation, post harvest management and expanding primary processing of agricultural products for value addition to benefit over 500 small-scale farmers and over 3,000 more in post-harvest management as a sharp fall in postharvest losses would translate into a rise in output and this would also lead to better life to enable keep young people in rural area. Another vital challenge is by reducing food waste that may arise as a result of improved productivity for example, a 10% reduction in food waste would increase food security by 10% as well.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

Mechanization is likely to improve productivity by over 10% annually due to better farm tools, tractors, disc harrows, planters, animal traction, light machinery for women and more, including Solar pumps that would power small-scale irrigation to reduce the regions’ over relying on rain fed agriculture which suffers from climate change. Farmers would also be trained on better farm management such as weed, pests and disease control, besides, soil testing and seed selection for use of quality seeds, including post harvest management, use of solar dryers, testers, silos and solar cold rooms for storage, including Value addition by primary processing of rice and maize and more. SAVE AND REVITALIZE VISION programme aims to steer a paradigm shift from a sector-oriented support to an integrated one. The General Objective of the programme is to “consolidate stability in Northern Uganda, eradicate poverty and under-nutrition and strengthen the foundations for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development". The vision would contribute to the progressive achievement of the SDG targets of SDG 1: "End poverty in all its forms everywhere" and SDG 2: "End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture" as well as other SDGs. Furthermore, the vision aims to address the root causes of irregular migration, rural-urban, and famine that lead to family instability, contributing to the development of sustainable livelihood of poor communities living in Otuke, and Lira districts in Northern Uganda, building their resilience to climate change through improved farming techniques and promoting the economic and social integration of current refugee communities living in Northern Uganda by providing affordable food system in local markets. The three specific objectives and related results of SAVE AND REVITALIZE VISION are the following: Specific objective 1: To increase food security through improved farming in diversified food, reducing waste

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

This vision SAVES the environment by intensive crop production, one that is both highly productive and environmentally sustainable and REVITALIZE is by improving the performance of the agricultural sector, as 2050 draws closer urgent action is required to address major challenges: Climate change, low productivity, and food waste, by farmers’ training and engaging women and youth as the future producers. Actions are required to help farmers cope with climate change as well as tackle the above challenges to ensure sustainable food security come 2050. Example, in our vision Governments and NGOs should promote policies that encourage ‘climate-smart’ agriculture, which integrates food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation. They should also adopt a multi-sectoral approach to tackling the impact of climate change on food systems. The major challenges in ensuring food security systems include: (i) increasing agricultural productivity, (ii) climate change adaptation and mitigation-reducing emissions by solar energy and (iii) reducing food waste-It is estimated that up to a third of all food is lost or wasted each year. This implies that a third of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are in vain. Waste occurs during production, after harvest, in the distribution system, during processing and in the home. Tackling waste therefore requires a range of activities, such as improving access to markets, providing better storage facilities, encouraging consumers not to waste food as reducing food waste by 10% would increase food security by about 10% as well and reducing post-harvest losses on the farm, postharvest losses can be as high as 40%. A sharp fall in post harvest losses of 40% would translate into a rise in output as fewer postharvest losses can significantly increase food production by over 40% annually. As well as better storage facilities, processing units are needed to preserve and add value to food products. Such innovations would contribute to the achievement of national food security and development goals. Our vision is to improve the level of training and farming systems for farmers and also invest more in the training of extension workers to implement this programme in the rural areas, as three quarters of the world’s poorest billions people live in rural areas and the vast majority depend on agriculture for their livelihoods’ and survival. Therefore, encouraging the growth of agricultural sector by improving productivity through light machinery for smallholder farmers and women and youth, use of solar powered irrigation, training farmers on better farming methods, use of quality seeds and reducing food waste are the most effective ways of tackling poverty and reducing hunger and malnutrition, as smallholders farmers, fisher and livestock keepers produce over 80% of the staple foods in Uganda as well as other developing countries. The overall benefits to farmers would not only be increased productivity but also increased income that would enable them to form village savings and credit groups to provide for capital and savings, so they share interests. 1.1. OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME AND PRIORITY ISSUES. This Vision is contributing to the General Objective of the SAVE AND REVITALIZE VISION programme which is save the environment and consolidates food system stability in the sub region and Northern Uganda, eradicate poverty and under-nutrition and strengthen the foundation for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development. This Vision would be divided into two activities and relates to SAVE AND REVITALIZE VISION programme Specific Objectives 1 and 3, their respective results and activities which are the following: For Activity 1: Improving livelihoods through climate change resilience and increased production of diversified food, enhanced market opportunities and better maternal and child nutrition (contributing to Specific Objective 1 of the SAVE AND REVITALIZE VISION programme). Result 1.1: Increased production of diversified food. Activity 1.1.1: Facilitate the adoption and production of diverse food crops and animal products. Activity 1.1.2: Facilitate access to key inputs and output markets for women, youth and men small-scale farmers. Activity 1.1.3: Train farmer groups and other small market operators along the value chain in community saving and credit schemes. Result 1.2: Increased market accessibility. Activity 1.2.1: Foster linkages between smallholder farmers, agro-processors and market operators. Activity 1.2.4: Assess and identify market opportunities and product niches along the stages of the value chain and facilitate market exchanges and contractual agreements. Result 1.3: Nutrition-specific interventions. Activity 1.3.1: Developing and promoting community-based nutrition initiatives including micro nutrient supplementation & deworming, promotion of maternal and young child feeding and improved school feeding practices by fortified foods, hygiene and sanitation and child care. Activity 1.3.2: Increase the use of effective family planning methods through promoting girls education by improved household income, with the aim of decreasing the number of teenage pregnancies and increasing child spacing which address both nutrition and population growth issues. Three principal pathways that enhance food access and diet: (i) increasing resilience to climate change in agricultural production by local/small-scale farmers ;(ii) increasing household consumption of diverse food production on farm; (iii) reducing income poverty (through employment including self-employment); and (iv) women’s and youth empowerment. We shall be monitoring the impact of these pathways and how this vision affects individual diet and consumption as important to assess the impact of nutrition-specific interventions and how effectively we work together with the nutrition-sensitive interventions which we would provide. The implications for nutrition would always be carefully considered when implementing the increase of food production and the support to entrepreneurship or commercial agriculture. In particular, there would be a healthy balance between women’s time spent on food production and income-generating activities, and the time allocated to household management and maintenance, care-giving and leisure. Particularly important is time to be allocated to breast-feeding. Also, an emphasis would be put on addressing the loss of food nutrients due to poor handling practices during harvest and post-harvest, processing of agricultural products as well as poor food preparation. Finally, this vision would look at how we can work in complementarity with the ongoing component on Nutrition Governance (through in particular District Nutrition Coordination Committees (DNCC) in particular) such as contributing to information systems on food and nutrition security and act as the interface with communities to improve maternal and child nutrition, and others. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and youth: Vision interventions would have a strong gender dimension in all activities and at all levels that is local/community level, regional, and local governmental. In planning the vision activity, the views and interest of women and youth would be taken into account as over 80% of women in Otuke as well as in Uganda practice subsistence agriculture, which means 80% of food is produced by women. Gender inequality is a root cause of persistent poverty and food insecurity in Uganda and women's empowerment is a strong pathway to improved child under-nutrition. Therefore, under Activity 2, proposed actions would give particular priority to women recognising their role in the agricultural sector and their potential to influence nutrition within the household. The proposed actions would seek to empower women on various dimensions including by increasing their influence on household decisions about agricultural production, increasing their access over productive resources (environment, land, inputs, credit, water, postharvest and others.), their control over use of income and ensure adequate allocation for their time to productive and domestic tasks, and others. Under Activity 2, special attention is required on the design of the activities in order to ensure more progress is made towards gender equality and full empowerment of women in local food governance and in particular in public service delivery Youth engagement and employability: Youth in Northern Uganda, given the nature of the age pyramid would be a key target of activities with the aim to unlock their potentials in terms of socio-economic development. Under this Activity, this vision would focus on engaging youth in activities that empower young people by providing skills, business development and technical support in order to boost their capacities to engage in productive activities. Under Activity, this vision would ensure greater participation of the youth in local food governance. Partnerships: Considering the large scope of activities and the coverage of a significantly wide geographical area in the later stages of implementation, this vision will strongly encourage building strong partnerships for implementation of activities. Partnering with local actors (that is NGOs/CSOs, private sector, larger farmers' associations/organisations and others.) with expertise in the result areas of intervention as would be particularly important. This vision would indicate how these partners will, to the possible extent, be responsible for direct implementation of certain activities (as leads, co-this vision, affiliates or sub-grantees by then). If they would be needed, a capacity building component for those local partner(s) would be identified and foreseen as part of the proposed action to ensure implementation of their activities in compliance with quality standards and appropriate rules Value chain approach: As to establish a geographical and technical focus area.

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Attachments (2)

Summary notes of the Vision-SAVE AND REVITALIZE.docx

Summary Notes on Food Vision proposal

Food Vision-Challenges.docx

The detailed Food Vision proposal

4 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Cortney Ahern
Team

Hi Obua Godfrey - welcome to the Food System Vision Prize Community!

Thank you for submitting your vision for engaging women and youth in sustainable farming in Uganda. It's clear you have deep knowledge of the issues facing this place and potential solutions to create a more sustainable future.

Some questions and suggestions that might help to strengthen your vision:
- You do a great job listing particular program activities and results. More broadly, how does your solution of the Save and Revitalize program scale up into a vision for Uganda's food system in 2050? What would life look like in 2050 if you achieved your solution? How might you evolve your Vision to make it more inclusive and systemic for your local food system and its numerous stakeholders?
- Since the Prize asks you to imagine the world in 2050, one of the most promising resources that can help you make a disruptive yet feasible Vision is data. We’ve put together a wide range of resources and websites that can help you pull out data relevant to your context and Vision.
You can find them here: https://ideo.to/Ccy20v

I also wanted to make sure that you have seen our Food Vision Prize Toolkit with a lot of information, activities, and guidelines. The Toolkit can help you refine your Vision and make it more systemic, human-centred and well informed for the future. Here is the link to the Prize Toolkit: http://bit.ly/2X4ZxQk

Look forward to seeing your Vision evolve through the coming weeks.

Spam
Photo of Obua Godfrey
Team

Hello Cortney,
Thank you for your comments.
Please find our responses to those comments.
More broadly, how does your solution of the Save and Revitalize program scale up into a vision for Uganda's food system in 2050?
Save the environment by intensive crop production, one that is both highly productive and environmentally sustainable and revitalize is by improving the performance of the agricultural sector
As 2050 draws closer urgent action is required to address major challenges: Climate change, low productivity, and food waste, training and engaging women and youth as the future producers.
Actions that are required to help farmers cope with climate change as well as tackle the above challenges would ensure sustainable food security come 2050. For example, Governments and NGOs should therefore promote policies that encourage ‘climate-smart’ agriculture, which integrates food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation. They should also adopt a multi-sectoral approach to tackling the impact of climate change on food systems.
The best ways of helping farmers reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change would be Conservation agriculture, which involves the use of minimum tillage, the retention of organic matter and crop rotation, can help farmers reduce their carbon emissions, increase crop yields and cope with climatic variability. Agroforestry, which involves planting trees on farmland, can sequester carbon, improve soil fertility and raise smallholders’ incomes. Where appropriate, policymakers should encourage these sorts of climate-smart activities.
What would life look like in 2050 if you achieved your solution?
Since the project is all about the sustainable intensification of smallholder crop production it would lead to high productivity and improve the wellbeing of the population and the farming communities. The overall objective of the programme is to stimulate economic prosperity and food security in northern Uganda by improving the performance of the agricultural sector through tackling the current challenges to agriculture production and food security for the future farming. It aimed to improve the economic conditions of farming communities in the sub region as well as other areas in the future by addressing weaknesses in the production, post harvest and consumption loses and market that would lead to sustainable agriculture and food security for the growing population.
How might you evolve your Vision to make it more inclusive and systemic for your local food system and its numerous stakeholders?
The importance of a multisectoral approach can be illustrated by considering food waste as one example. It is estimated that up to a third of all food is lost or wasted each year. This implies that a third of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are in vain. Waste occurs during production, after harvest, in the distribution system, during processing and in the home. Tackling waste therefore requires a range of activities, such as improving access to markets, providing better storage facilities, encouraging consumers not to waste food and reducing post-harvest losses on the farm. Policies and actions which are designed to help farmers cope with climate change must work across a range of landscapes, from the village to the district to the country; and at a range of different biophysical scales, from the farm to the watershed.
Thanks for your time.
Please keep them coming.
Yours sincerely,
Godfrey Obua.

Spam
Photo of Cortney Ahern
Team

Hi Godfrey,

Thank you for this thoughtful response! I would encourage you to add this information into your application itself by updating your vision with these details.

Thank you!
Cortney

Spam
Photo of Obua Godfrey
Team

Hello Cortney,
Thanks again for your time. I have added as attachment and I will continue editing the main proposal part time and again.
Regards, Godfrey Obua