Farmers in Kamuli, Buyende and Palisa districts in eastern Uganda experience food insecurity and poor access to markets, in part due to substantial post-harvest losses. This is due to limited knowledge and limited access to post-harvest technologies. In the project’s earlier phase, the team developed a maize sheller with which participating farmers reduced post-harvest losses by about 60%. These results need to be upscaled in the wider community. A post-harvest handling farmer research network (PHH FRN) was set up to enable scaling up in three districts in eastern Uganda, consisting of 36 farmer groups (12 per district), researchers, extension agents, and NGOs. Partners who were working with farmers in addressing some of the PHH issues were also mapped out. The FRN identified a range of options for community and home-based postharvest handling and processing that addressed specific constraints. Tentative research agendas were developed based on identified constraints and considerations of available resources and political expectations.
The purpose of this request is to support communities in reducing post-harvest losses based on scaling out of a set of post-harvest handling technologies to benefit farmers in diverse contexts through a farmer research network. This FRN will prioritize technologies preferred by farmers and test them in different contexts based on indigenous knowledge and innovation.
This is expected to increase farmers’ capacity to operate technologies, thus widening adoption of PHH technologies. Secondly, the FRN will test various nutritious food mixtures with communities to improve local diets. Thirdly, the project will develop business models for both PHH technologies and nutritious mixtures. The project will also build the capacity of university students, local extension workers, local leaders, farmers, and local artisans.
Outputs and Outcomes:
Functional PHH FRN (post-harvest handling farmer research network)
Gender sensitive and locally adaptable (context-specific) PHH technologies identified and adopted widely.
Procedures for production of nutritious food mixtures developed and widely adopted.
Human capacities in PHH improved.
Farmer led PHH business models developed.
Popular publications and Scholarly publications developed.
Increased access and uptake/adoption of PHH technologies.
Increased availability of safe and nutritious foods.
Increased capacity of stakeholders to harness PHH development opportunities.