University of California - Davis
Rural Agency for Sustainable Development, Uganda Christian University, National Agricultural Research Organization, Agribusiness Initiative Trust, Makerere University, Mukono District Local Government (Uganda); Scheut Tshilomba (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Johan Six; Mark Van Horn; Heidi Ballard; Stephen Boucher; Edith Naggenda; Ignitius Bwoogi; Michael Masanza; Beatrice Akello; Peter Lusembo; Harriet Nsubuga Mpanga; Prossy Isubikalu; Dennis Yiga; Karel Van Laer
Although the growing market for horticultural products in Uganda offers an opportunity for smallholder farmers to improve their income, their access to these markets is still limited. This project will develop a participatory extension model to rapidly improve smallholder linkages to horticultural markets, which will be achieved by merging and supplementing two agricultural development models – Farmer Field Schools (FFS) with the Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA). The Horticulture program will work with Farmer Groups established in our pilot project in Nkokonjeru, Uganda and evaluate the potential of our adapted FFS methodology to a pilot community in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Specific objectives are to strengthen farmer groups' capacity to produce indigenous leafy green vegetables and tomatoes for the market and improve farmers' ability to use their farm as an income generating asset. Research in small plots and on farmers' fields of economically appropriate soil fertility management technologies, including micro-dosing, improved varieties, irrigation, and safe pesticide use, will help identify ways to increase vegetable yields and quality. Curriculum enhancement with a local university (Uganda Christian) and Uganda's primary agricultural university (Makerere), as well as with governmental and NGO agricultural extension, will strengthen the region's capacity to carry out and sustain research and extension activities for horticultural crops.