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Greening Supply Chains in Western Uganda

  • Published on June 16, 2017
Wildlife Conservation Society is training farmers in climate smart farming and providing rural financial services in return for forest and wetland conservation to establish deforestation free and business inclusive supply chains.
The aim of this initiative is mainstream green and social supply chains in Western Uganda. Currently, most farming is practiced clearing forests and encroaching on wetlands. Agriculture is becoming increasingly difficult due to climate change and population growth. We offer farmers training in climate smart agriculture and access to rural financial services in return for their commitment to conserve forest and wetlands and plant new forest. By creating green and social supply chains, farmers are producing food sustainably, earning a respectable livelihood and contributing to climate change mitigation. We are currently working with 1000 farmers in the district of Hoima, who are already producing deforestation free maize. We would like to scale up and recruit new farmers across western Uganda. Currently, it is too capital intensive for the private sector to invest in business development services and extension services. Therefore, WCS is providing those services to small holder farmers. We group farmers in Conservation Associations and we sign a conservation agreement. We set up our network of community based forest monitors who will be providing the extension services. After their training in conservation farming and Business Saving Groups,they go out and recruit new farmers. They will train them in conservation farming (zero-tillage and mulching)and help them group them selves in Business Saving Groups (group-based savings and loans associations). We monitor compliance of the farmers using the community based forest monitors in combination with the Global Forest Watch platform. We were surprised by our own success. We have been able to double harvests from 700 to 2000 kg per acre and increase income 15 fold, while virtually stopping deforestation. The farmers are much more resilient to the variability of climate change and they are producing crops deforestation free. More detailed information is available in the link below. But if this can be scaled up across Uganda will have a sustainable zero emission agricultural sector. We would like to scale up across Western Uganda. This means that we need donor funding and private sector investment. Ideally, as we have shown proof of concept private sector is more keen and sees this as a bankable investment with a good return. But we also want to expand the model by other organizations adopting this model, not limited to Uganda. So, if you are interested please contact me.

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