Maize value chain governance with smallholder farmers
Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement hosts around 57,000 refugees, almost all are Congolese who have sought safe haven from the violence that plagues the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo since 2012. Following Uganda’s flexible refugee law, the refugees in Rwamwanja are given a plot of land to build a home and to farm. They are also allowed to work and freely and to access all social services in Uganda.
Several smallholder farmers grow maize in Rwamwanja, and the product has growing markets in near areas. However, due to low productivity (subsistence farming) and absence of associative organizations or other platforms for sharing knowledge and empowering local farmers, the markets are not profitable. Several opportunities to increase incomes, food security, and self-reliance exist, yet the lack of education and inability to organize remains as a challenge.
The aim of this Food System Lab is to support the refugee settlement in becoming self-reliant, away from aid-dependency. Through the activities numerous settlement members will be trained and empowered, especially female farmers. This Food System Lab aims to improve socio-economic conditions for thousand refugee farmers and their families.
Other Food System Labs
- To assist smallholder maize farmers in Rwamwanja to improve their productivity, in adopting good agricultural practices in maize farming
- To assist smallholder maize farmers in Rwamwanja in organising themselves for effectively tapping the maize market directly, decreasing the interference of middlemen
- Organizing the smallholder maize farmers into producer and marketing associations
- Establishment of Community-based Extension Structure managed by farmers ‘themselves’ through a network of 10 Village Enterprise Agents
- Training smallholder maize farmers on good agricultural practices and entrepreneur skills
- Creation of maize storage center for processing and packaging, and creation of a labeling system
- Linking the farmer associations to a direct maize market to reduce activities of middlemen
Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement