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Re-imagining agriculture: What if a healthier planet began with a healthier farm?

We believe ending poverty begins with diversifying livelihoods in agriculture and livestock management

Photo of Moses Karmali
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Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Cabral Tech Limited

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

Sserubiri Uhuru John Kiwanuka Muhumuza Joshua

Website of Legally Registered Entity

http://www.toyopoliz.com/

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

  • 3-10 years

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

Kampala

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?

West Nile, located in Uganda, has a total area of approximately 420 km².

What country is your selected Place located in?

Uganda

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

The story of West Nile is a story of war. I believe there is hope, even in the places that seem bleak. It is my goal to encourage people to look beyond the trauma of the past and towards the possibility of the future. Thus, programs created must not only meet multiple needs but uplift the very mind of a nation.

Growing up in Uganda and having had the opportunity to travel widely, I had ample opportunity to compare poor societies with those that have succeeded in alleviating poverty. The common thread was that societies can only be successful in tackling poverty if those most vulnerable get a hand from those who are more fortunate.


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.

Uganda is bordered by South Sudan to the north, Kenya to the east, Tanzania and Rwanda to the south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. The capital city, Kampala, is built around seven hills not far from the shores of Lake Victoria, which forms part of the frontier with Kenya and Tanzania.

The region has a total projected population of 2,988,300 people living. For nearly eighteen years the insurgency of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), led by Joseph Kony, has produced great suffering in Northern Uganda, including some 1.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs).

While Uganda has an open-door refugee policy which is one of the most progressive in the world, the continued influx of refugees in West Nile is straining host communities and service delivery. With more than 270,000 South Sudanese refugees living in West Nile. Northern Uganda remains in a delicate period of recovery. Competition for natural resources is also fierce. Many refugees complain of being chased away from the forest by the local community when they try to cut grasses to build thatched huts. Locals, on the other hand, claim that the refugee camps are contributing to massive deforestation, affecting the livelihood of a population that primarily survives as peasant farmers. Some even blame the refugees for the drought currently depleting crop production, claiming that the refugee population has entered sacred lands and angered the community elders.

While empathy for and the desire to support refugees is clear, the environment itself presents challenges.  On the surface, war and conflict have curtailed development throughout the West Nile.

The issue, however, is deeper and more complex. A lot of minds were destroyed in the conflict. Many people who were good thinkers, the ones who could travel, met their demise on the road. Finding a fresh mind that can separate between what has happened and what we need to be doing is very difficult.


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

420

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

2988300

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

Agricultural development in East Africa faces daunting challenges, which climate change and increasing climate variability will compound in vulnerable areas. The impacts of a changing climate on agricultural production in a world that warms by 4°C or more are likely to be severe in places. The livelihoods of many croppers and livestock keepers in East Africa are associated with diversity of options. The changes in crop and livestock production that are likely to result in a 4°C+ world will diminish the options available to most smallholders. In such a world, current crop and livestock varieties and agricultural practices will often be inadequate, and food security will be more difficult to achieve because of commodity price increases and local production shortfalls.

It is justifiable to assume that for sustainable growth of the African economy, significant investment and creative innovation in agriculture are needed. However, several factors such as growth of the farming population, loss of soil fertility, climate change, water scarcity, post-harvest losses, and limited market access could challenge such expectation.

On the other hand, new policy reforms and initiatives, and appropriate investment that directly or indirectly support agricultural innovation and growth are emerging. While adaptation strategies exist, considerable institutional and policy support will be needed to implement them successfully on the scale required. Even in the 2°C+ world that appears inevitable, planning for and implementing successful adaptation strategies are critical if agricultural growth in the region is to occur, food security be achieved and household livelihoods be enhanced. As part of this effort, better understanding of the critical thresholds in global and African food systems requires urgent research.

In the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook for 2016-2025, the two UN organizations produced a “Special Focus: Sub-Saharan Africa,” which considered the region’s future in depth. The sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region accounts for more than 950 million people, approximately 13% of the global population, the report said. By 2050, this share is projected to increase to almost 22%, or 2.1 billion.

“Undernourishment has been a long-standing challenge, with uneven progress across the region,” the report said. “Despite being reduced from 33% in 1990-92 to 23% in 2014-16, the percentage of undernourishment remains the highest among developing regions. Owing to rapid population growth of 2.7% per year over the same period, the absolute number of undernourished people has increased by 44 million to reach 218 million.

“Slow progress toward food security has been attributed to low productivity of agricultural resources, high population growth rates, political instability and civil strife. However, vast regional differences remain and the success achieved in countries with stable political conditions, economic growth and expanding agricultural sectors suggests that appropriate governance systems, institutional capacities, and macro-economic, structural and sectoral policies can work together to improve food security on a long-lasting and sustainable basis.”

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

Lack of quality education, limited access to finance and indirect interaction with markets together prevent farmers from fully harnessing existing market opportunities. However 90% of small holder farmers own mobile phones. We deem mobile technology to be the solution aimed at overcoming small holder farmer’s business hurdles.

We have developed a farmer management software on Google's Android and Apple's iOS are operating systems. Crop Manager, My Farm and Livestock Manager have 30,000 users collectively. We have a toll free call center that provides agronomical information to the hardest to reach small holder farmers and improving market linkages, ensuring usage of quality agro-inputs and promoting evidence-based good farming practices.

  • Call received from farmers across the country mainly West Nile and Central regions: 67,134
  • Farmers profiled and registered to receive regular market, weather updates, pest and disease alerts: 64,112
  • Farmers connected to mainly bulky buyers through our market platform: 1,923
  • Farmers connected to equipment service providers, mainly tractor services: 624
  • Full time software engineers building different innovations and also a call center support system: 12
  • Full time agronomists: 8

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.

We have created a Farmer digital network that helps farmers produce higher quality products, increase yields, lower costs, gain insight into pricing and smarter marketing, tackle the effects of climate change, diversify agricultural interests, and source the best seeds, fertilizers, and loans - farming connected is the key to your farm's financial performance.

Farmers get access to all our analytics products, crop marketing opportunities, direct product pricing, financing services, and events.


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

We use an interactive platform that gives smallholder farmers information on how to grow a particular crop throughout the crop life cycle, how to adjust to the changing climatic conditions, a list of various service providers within a particular location and a link to buyers of their produce, utilizing the various features of a mobile phone (SMS, USSD and mobile app), a web platform and a toll free call center with agronomists giving advice.

We also give farmer groups, government agencies and NGO's working with farmers a platform where they can easily communicate with their farmers and advise them on various issues such as climate change adaptation, pests and diseases, use of new farming technologies and production advise through our qualified agronomists.

We believe ending poverty begins with agriculture. We work with farmers and their communities to identify opportunities that deliver living incomes, creating solutions to local challenges that are designed to build inclusive, resilient economies.

We have created a Farmer digital network that helps farmers produce higher quality products, increase yields, gain insight into pricing, tackle the effects of climate change, diversify agricultural interests, and source the best seeds, fertilizers, and loans

· We have developed farm management software’s: Crop Manager, MyFarm and Livestock Manager being used by 30,000 farms around the world.

· Kilimo Call Center (toll-free) that provides agronomical information to the hardest to reach small holder farmers and improving market linkages, ensuring usage of quality agro-inputs and promoting evidence-based good farming practices.

  • Call received from farmers across the country mainly West Nile and Central regions: 67,134
  • Farmers profiled and registered to receive regular market, weather updates, pest and disease alerts: 64,112
  • Farmers connected to mainly bulky buyers through our market platform: 1,923
  • Farmers connected to equipment service providers, mainly tractor services: 624
  • Full time software engineers building different innovations and also a call center support system: 12
  • Full time agronomists: 5

Strategic Direction

· Instant access to information and new technologies by smallholder farmers for example instant alert in case of pest/disease outbreak

· Increased usage of agro-inputs to improve production, proper use of quality agrochemicals

· Improved services to a range of financial services including credit and insurance by smallholder farmers

· Increased access to equipment services to mechanize agriculture and improve productivity

· Improved market linkages and instant access to market information by smallholder farmers

Businesses

· Technology licensing through telemarketing services, technical support, market research, and market platform commissions.

We have been accredited by the Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Agriculture.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Website

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Team

Farming is the key! Nice work.

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