Competitive farming in spite of challenging climate

Uganda is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, but growth constraints remain high, particularly in the north. Uganda is on target to meet its first Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty and hunger by 2015. However, under-nutrition and poverty are still prevalent throughout the country and with one of the highest population growth rates in the world at 3.2%, is at risk of remaining entrenched in a cycle of poverty.

Despite these constraints, northern Uganda makes up 30% of the country’s total land surface, providing significant opportunities and potential for agricultural development and growth, particularly in commercial farming. Moreover, Northern Uganda’s diverse climate can sustain a number of different crops for nutrition and food security purposes, sold to local and regional markets, or traded internationally. All of these crops, however, have varying levels of climate vulnerability.

The Project

The priority of the project NU-TEC is to facilitate the transition of Northern Uganda form an isolated region, highly vulnerable to climate change and affected by a long conflict, into a dynamic, resilient, wealth creating economy, supplying more and greater value products into local markets and global supply chains.

NU-TEC will catalyse investment in markets and climate smart practices, strengthening existing supply and distribution chains and accelerating new business models, products and services, to overcome the systemic constraints and market failures holding back investments and growth.

The project partners have vast experience in Uganda and the agricultural sectors on which the NU-TEC project is likely to focus. A critical component for increasing investments into climate smart agriculture depends upon leveraging the expertise and interests of Uganda’s agribusiness firms, investors and technology providers that can be brought together to make markets work more effectively in the North.

Interventions

NU-TEC aims to increase the incomes and climate resilience of poor men and women in northern Uganda by

(a) stimulating sustainable, pro-poor growth in selected agricultural markets and

(b) improving the position of poor men and women within these market systems, to make them more inclusive for poor people.

The project facilitates the development of new business models and markets that benefit the poor and increase their climate resilience by:

  • Identifying potential climate-smart business models and partners that are relevant to the target markets.
  • Providing technical assistance to private sector entities in investment identification, design and feasibility, and in brokering partnerships to increase the flow of bankable proposals in the area of climate smart, pro-poor agriculture. 
  • Demonstrating capacity for market and climate change adaptation analysis, and work with businesses to build investment plans on the back of analysis, which benefit the poor as consumers, suppliers, clients or employees, and increase their resilience to climate change. 
  • Pursuing agreement by private sector partners to invest in a new business idea on purely commercial terms.
  • Identifying and pilot successful business models and investments and ‘crowd in’ other private sector entities to replicate and expand the business models.

Swisscontact is specifically providing technical assistance to design and pilot agri business investments that increase business competitiveness of agri businesses and benefit small holders in the agri systems. This includes market selection and analysis, sector mapping, product analysis and training in market systems development.

Results

NU-TEC has the potential to sustainably and significantly improve the livelihoods of over 750,000 poor people in Northern Uganda. It is expected that the programme will deliver the following results:

  1. At least 750,000 poor people in Northern Uganda, 50% women, will see their resilience to climate change increased and incomes raised by at least 15%;
  2. At least £55m in new investment supported by the project (excluding loans);
  3. At least £90m in additional turnover in businesses supported by the project.

Project partner

GRM (Lead)
Carana Corporation

Project countries

  • Uganda

Project duration

2015-2019

Funding

  • DFID

Working area

Enterprise

Swisscontact
Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@STOP-SPAM.swisscontact.org