80% of Ugandans benefit from agriculture for food and economic security. A big percentage of them are smallholder farmers who still practice subsistence agriculture which is characterized by poor farming methods and low yields due to poor land utilization. Post-harvest losses and wastage by smallholder farmers in Uganda has remained constant and as a result majority of farmers experience low yields per hectare of farm cultivated by smallholder farmers. This makes farmers wanting to cultivate much more farms to have more farm produce at their disposal. As a result, more land is cleared, leading to environmental degradation which is a bigger contributor to global warming.Most farmers incur losses during harvest (64%) followed by storage (12%) and drying (10%). More than Shs16 billion is registered in post-harvest losses every year according to Uganda Cooperative Alliance, October 2018 and World bank research.There are mainly five segments under the post-harvest chain where food losses occur; harvest, drying, threshing/shelling, grading/cleaning, farm storage, transportation, market storage. Post-harvest losses have a negative impact on food security for poor people, on food quality and safety, and on economic development.
Smallholder farmers in Post Conflict areas of Northern Uganda face a challenge of post harvest losses due to lack of networking opportunities with the private sector. Produce is wasted because farmers grow specifications that are not demanded by big market players such as bulk buyers and processors. Also they have limited access to financial, research, improved inputs and technical support services.
Agriculture modernization is a critical component of Uganda’s vision 2040 which is “A transformed Ugandan society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country. Wise Quality Technologies will support farmers through a developed mobile application that will provide access to reliable information from buyers and processors requirements.
P-Harvest Mobile App will act as an information circulation and access center for smallholder farmers in Gulu and Kitgum Districts in Northern Uganda. Information on seed varieties, research on seed multiplication and pests/disease control, extension services and agricultural frameworks and development plans put in place by Operation Wealth creation and Ministry of Agriculture Animal and Fisheries will be shared to farmers. Also there will be created sustainable linkages between improved input dealers, financial institutions and research institutions service providers and smallholder farmers. Linkages will be easily created with smallholder farmers even in hard to reach ares where majority of farmers operate. Value chain actor will be able to calculate expenses in advance to be spent to collect produce thus increasing farmers bargaining power.The P-Harvest Mobile platform will support in delivering agricultural value chain development services such as linkages to training, financing through contract growing and access to improved seeds and Agro- chemicals and fertilizers approved and recommended on market.
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