Report: Northern Uganda Embraces Commercial Agriculture

130,815 small scale farmers in Northern Uganda have substantively grown their personal income through embracing dynamics of commercial agriculture, the Northern Uganda Transforming Economy through Climate Smart Agribusiness (NUTEC) Report has revealed.

This indicates a 158% performance compared to the 82000 households that were targeted.

According to the report, 898 women were supported with increased access to climate information, markets, climate resilient inputs and sources of financing and diversified livelihoods compared to the target 31,464 indicating a 146% performance.

“The volume of NUTEC financed loans disbursed in Northern Uganda performed at 93%.”

Funded by UK Aid and Equity bank, the NUTEC is a three year program implemented by Mercy Corps since 2019, to boost agricultural production in Northern Uganda.

The funding enables innovative Agri lending that is gender inclusive and climate smart, aimed at unlocking some of the constraints on market opportunities for input suppliers, agriculture producers, processors and aggregators/traders.

The program is aimed at providing innovative agriculture finance to agribusinesses with a primary focus of Northern Uganda.

The UK government through UK Aid, and other development partners put in a risk sharing fund managed by Mercy Corp, investing close to 10 million pounds (Shs50Bn).

“This aimed at setting up the fund as well as providing technical assistance to financial institutions for them to build and develop agriculture lending programmes, processes and systems and market this to agribusinesses with a priority focus Northern Uganda because it had just come out of a protracted disability period of LRA,” Paul Kweheira, the Team leader at NUTEC said.

“The major aim is to impact small business farmers, improve income for households and reduce poverty. We are a small team of tactical experts that are embedded inside the financial institutions to help build the systems and products for agriculture lending,” he added.

Anthony Kituka, the ED of Equity Bank, said that the project has enables transparency in lending, is gender inclusive and promotes climate smart agriculture.

Officials pose for a group photo after the launch of the report.

The improved new lending financial products co-developed through Equity Bank include, production loan for producers of crops, finance and livestock assets, agricultural machinery, processing loan, working capital marketing loan for commodity aggregators; and structured commodity finance for access through commodity collateral.

Speaking at the function, Jordan Martindale, the Team Leader in charge of Growth, Prosperity and Climate, who represented UK Aid, said that the next phase will run for four years, focusing on climate change and Shs 63Bn will be invested in the program.

 

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