This project will build a centre to benefit rural farmers in the remote community of Mbata in mountainous Western Uganda, enabling them to increase crop yields, reduce post-harvest losses, find new markets and carry out more processing locally to obtain more value from their produce. This Farmers Enterprise Centre (FEC) will create new opportunities for community entrepreneurship, and sustainable local wealth generation and development, as well as providing energy to the wider community.
Mbata is a farming community of 15000 people in the mountains of Western Uganda. Accessed only via a winding dirt track, it is unlikely to be electrified in the next 30 years. Farmers must travel far to reach external markets to sell their produce, and regularly suffer post-harvest losses of up to 50% as unsold goods spoil in the heat, or are eaten by pests in their limited, open storage facility. This project will address these challenges and maximise income generation within the community.
The Farmers Enterprise Centre will provide an affordable cold storage facility enabling Mbata farmers to keep their produce fresh for longer, reducing food wastage and increasing their bargaining power at market. It will also provide services, knowhow and equipment for farmers to produce flour, juice and raise poultry, as well as acting as an incubation hub for other entrepreneurial activities, enhancing the wealth of the community. Nearby houses will also benefit from electricity provision.
The Mbata farming community will benefit from reduced post-harvest losses, enabling crops to be sold throughout the year at fair prices without being cheated by middle-men, and the growth of alternate crops with higher returns requiring cold storage. Farmer incomes should be able to double, allowing savings and investment into family health and education provision. Through energy access, individuals will be able to grow new businesses, eventually paying for the electrification of all households.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).