Linking the demand for, and supply of, agricultural production and post-harvest information in Uganda
Central Research Department (now Research and Evidence Division)
Africa, Eastern Africa
Promotion of strategies and techologies to reduce the effect of pests on crops, and improve quality and yield; to improve survival and productivity of livestock species in semi-arid environments; to improve the productivity of milk producing livestock maintained in high potential production systems; and to improve food security of poor households through increased availability and improved quality of food crops and better access to markets.
The project aims to link the demand for agricultural (production and post-harvest) information to its supply. There are many demands for information - including farmers (of different types), service providers (National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) and non-NAADS, private and public sector), input suppliers, market traders, processors, researchers and policy makers - and many sources of information - including National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), NGOs, donor-supported research programmes, market information systems, the media, the internet and others. The information marketplace in Uganda is a dynamic, exciting place to be, with extension and research undergoing radical overhaul, and new market opportunities for agricultural produce opening up at local, national and regional levels. There are many initiatives underway, but there are also major deficiencies in the overall system. This project will address the system as a whole, using pilot Districts and technology examples from DFID Research Programmes in eastern Africa and from NARO in Uganda to develop models for effective information flow that can be replicated across Uganda by national agencies. The main beneficiaries of project outputs will be smallholder farmers producing crop and livestock products for home consumption and marketing. Through improved access to crop pest management information and technologies, farmers will be in a better position to overcome the pest and disease problems they have identified during the various needs assessments, which will ultimately help them obtain higher yields, better quality and a greater surplus for marketing. The needs assessments carried out so far have provided evidence of demand by farmers for improved access to crop and livestock information. However, the demand process has not differentiated sufficiently by gender, wealth category, and farm type. As a result, it is difficult for service providers to target poor and particularly vulnerable farmers. The proposed project will help to understand farmers' demands in more depth, differentiated by farmer category, and will assess whether constraints are technology related (no appropriate technology available) or pathway related (technologies do not reach farmers). The lessons learned by target organisations will help them to improve their demand assessment and technology transfer roles, resulting in relevant information reaching larger numbers of poor and women farmers.
Mechanisms developed that identify demand from different types of intermediate and end users. Demand identified is appropriate to local conditions, and is based on end-user local knowledge and their enhanced understanding of current technical and market opportunities, and anticipated future trends.
Improved tools and mechanisms developed to support the supply of appropriate information and technologies in forms useful to intermediate and end users across the food chain.
A range of options, appropriate to local conditions and responding to farmers' needs, identified and validated, emphasising, but not exclusive to, outputs from DFID research programmes.
Institutional mechanisms for integrating supply and demand for information developed.
Capacity of service providers at different levels to interface effectively between the needs of end users and sources of information enhanced.
Lessons learned evaluated, documented and disseminated to policy and implementation components of key target institutions within the national agricultural research and extension system of Uganda, and to interested parties outside Uganda
Progress and Impact:
'Develop demand discovery mechanisms that identify demand from a much more inclusive range of intermediate and end users than is currently the practice'
*An MSC study assessed NAADS demand identification process along five quality criteria agreed with stakeholders: (a) inclusion of the poor; (b) participation of farmers in decision-making; (c) transparency of the process; (d) alignment between farmer and NAADS criteria; (e) inclusion of cross-cutting issues.
*Recommendations made to NAADS and others as a result of the findings were:
**Continuous farmer-farmer mobilisation and use of local structures such as elders and local councils
**Flexible ways to pay membership fees and affirmative action for the marginalised farmers and youth
**Enterprises that do not require large cash investments and have low risk to attract poorer farmers
**Review NAADS criteria to consider household food security needs and value addition of traditional food crops, such as cassava.
**Farmers need sufficient information during the planning process, through training longer interaction time with new groups
**Develop TOR for service provision that address cross-cutting issues such as natural resources management and marketing of agricultural produce.
'Improved tools and mechanisms developed to support the supply of appropriate information and technologies'
*Private service providers in two Districts surveyed and profiled. Their information use, quality control and needs identified. Recommendations made to NAADS for improving their access to, and use of, information to provide better services to farmers
*Very poor households were less than proportionally represented in farmer groups compared to general population. All wealth categories had limited access to market information and overall, the average category had relatively more access to information, while very poor farmers are not well catered for in technology dissemination. Farmer groups are composed of different types of farmers, and projects find it difficult to cater for this heterogeneity. Overall, information demands were highest for pest and disease control, soil improvement, marketing and availability of inputs. There is no clear mechanism for feedback of information from farmer to research.
*The project has assisted the establishment of the Ugandan Working Group on the Co-ordination of Development and Dissemination of Information Materials for Service Providers and Farmers. This has recommended that NARO and NAADS establish a joint Standing Committee to co-ordinate and oversee quality assurance of agricultural information materials for service providers and end-users. The 'Factsheet' format developed by the project, in collaboration with COARD, is to be officially adopted and promoted by NARO and other institutions for summarising research outputs for service providers and farmers.
'A limited range of options, appropriate to local conditions and responding to farmers' needs, identified and tested'
*A novel demand-driven, multi-agency, farmer participatory, adaptive research process, that has as its main outcome the provision of locally relevant dissemination materials for service providers and farmers, was tested using three technology topics (goat de-worming, IPM of food legumes and draught animal power). The process was well received, although its radical nature was not well understood to start with. Stakeholders liked features such as the inter-institutional learning, farmer involvement and the development of dissemination materials.
*Two out of the three technology topics were successful in reaching the dissemination material production stage. The third (goat de-worming) tested the use of Mucuna trichomes as a botanical substitute for chemical de-wormers. The results were inconclusive, although it does seem to have been effective against cestodes. IPM manuals for pigeon pea and groundnut were produced by the Ugandan team as a result of th
The project has made contributions to the reduction of poverty in Uganda through improving the agricultural information available to poor farmers, and: *Providing mechanisms for disadvantaged groups to have a voice in setting priorities *Improving the information-demand identification process at grassroots level *Improving the supply of relevant production and post-harvest information *Supporting the commercialisation of food and non-food farm products to improve incomes and markets *Facilitating institutional linkages that address breaks or weaknesses in the information demand or supply flows. It has contributed to policy setting by NAADS and NARO with respect to understanding and supplying the knowledge needs of farmers and intermediate information users.
LPP extension to December 2005
Total Cost to DFID:
NRI (2003) Proceedings of the first stakeholder workshop for the project ,Linking demand for, and supply of, agricultural information in Uganda,, Athina Clubhouse, Kampala, Uganda. 13 May 2003. Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Chatham, Kent, UK. (B)
ADOLPH, B. and MANZI, J. (2003) Report of visit to Uganda for the NAADS/NARO/DFID/NRI project: ,Linking demand for, and supply of, agricultural information in Uganda,. 27 June - 4 July 2003. Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Chatham, Kent, UK. 65 pp.
POUND, B and MANZI, J. (DRAFT) Linking demand for, and supply of agricultural information in Uganda. Report of visit to Uganda to develop a programme of trials and demonstrations for the NAADS/NARO/DFID/NRI project. 29 July - 8 August 2003. Natural Resources Institute (NRI), Chatham, UK.
ADOLPH, B and MANZI, J. (2003) Linking demand for, and supply of, agricultural information in Uganda. Report of visit to Uganda for the NAADS/NARO/DFID/NRI project. 27 June - 4 July 2003. Natural Resources Institute (NRI), Chatham, UK.
MUBANGIZI, N. (DRAFT) The business environment and client response effectiveness of private service providers within NAADS system. A case study of Arua and Soroti Districts in Uganda. Research Proposal for an MSc. Department of Agricultural Extension/Education, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Draa EW, Semana AR and Adolph B. 2004. Comparing the processes used for assessing farmers' demand for research and advisory services. Ugandan Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol 9 No 1 pp 89-102.
Mubangizi N, Mangheni MN and Garforth J. 2004. Information sources and constraints, under national agricultural advisory services programme, of service providers in Uganda. Ugandan Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol 9 No 1 pp 257-264
Butterworth RR, Adolph B and Pound B. 2004. Experiences of packaging research outputs into extension materials. Ugandan Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol 9 No 1 pp 111-118
Pound B, Adolph B and Manzi J. 2004. Piloting an adaptive research process to address farmer's information gaps. Ugandan Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol 9 No 1 pp 137-146
MUBANGIZI, N., MANGHENI, M.N. and GARFORTH, J. (2004) Information sources and constraints, under national agricultural advisory services programme, of service providers in Uganda. Ugandan Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 9 (1): 257-264.
BUTTERWORTH, R.R., ADOLPH, B. and POUND, B. (2004) Experiences of packaging research outputs into extension materials. Ugandan Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 9 (1): 111-118.
POUND, B., ADOLPH, B. and MANZI, J. (2004) Piloting an adaptive research process to address farmer's information gaps. Ugandan Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 9 (1):137-146.
DRAA, E., SEMANA, A. and ADOLPH, B. (2004) Comparing the processes used for assessing farmers' demand for research and advisory services. Ugandan Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 9 (1): 89-102.
AGWARU, G., MATSIKO, F. and DELVE, R. (2004) Assessing approaches for dissemination of research information to farmers within their livelihood situations in Tororo District, Uganda. Ugandan Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 9 (1): 265-270.