Transitioning to AE Catalyzed by Access to Markets

Lead Organization:

Uganda Martyrs University–African Center of Excellence in Agroecology and Livelihood Systems (UMU-ACALISE)

Partner Organizations:

Center for Ecosystems Research and Development (CERD) (Uganda), Popular Knowledge Women’s Initiative (PKWI), and Atekere Soroti Initiative (ATSI)

Community of Practice:

East & Southern Africa






Highly hazardous pesticides (HHPS), noncommunicable diseases, and climate change’s effects (prolonged droughts and floods) are increasing concerns. Agroecology (AE) is the pathway through which they are best addressed (Ssekyewa et al., 2023). Whereas the CCRP FRNs co-creatively implemented transition to AE , levels of transitioning on average remained in the 20 to 40 percent range (Ssekyewa et al., 2022). Lack of market spaces as well as effective supply and demand for innovative AE products such as cassava flour, sunflower oil, tamarind-sorghum drink, legume seeds, and sorghum-millet drink limit full-scale transitioning, even though aspects of the circular and solidarity economy principle were encouraged by the FRN.

Grant Aims:

The overall goal is to scale to co-create AE knowledge and practices, thus contributing to the first strategy of the CRFS on accelerating local and regional food systems transformation. 


Specifically, the project aims to address the questions

  • In what ways do AE businesses embrace the circular and solidarity economy principle?
  • What forms and dynamics of resources flow do selected AEBNs in Eastern Uganda possess? 
  • What factors disable established AEBNs from transitioning toward resilience and sustainability?
  • Based on other existing models of AEBNs or related models, what social, economic, and environmental interventions would enable AEBNs in Eastern Uganda to break even, thrive, and thus attain resilience and sustainability?
  • What policy gaps need attention to bring about resilient food systems through sound AE business transitioning? 

Outputs and Outcomes:


  • Customized assessment tool produced
  • At least (4AEBNS) 40 actors sensitized about customized AE assessment tool and able to use it to assess their circular and solidarity economy nature of AE business
  • AEBNs typology determined and at least two co-learning cycles established
  • At least one new and appropriate AE business marketing systems established for eastern Uganda landscape
  • AE products, consumer behavior, and current preferences understood and taken care of by established marketing system 
  • Three AE degree candidates identified, mentored, and involved in either bachelors, MSc, or PhD in AE programs
  • Two biannual multi-stakeholder short courses conducted
  • AEBNs optimized and steadily transitioning to AE and resilient food systems
  • AE business models that enable transitioning to resilient food systems documented
  • AE and related policies analyzed and gaps identified; policy recommendations and brief developed to inform policy actors toward resilient food systems through sound AE business transitioning 


  • AEBNs have AE markets where can sell their products as AE products and are demanded by informed consumers
  • Number of AEBN-associated producers and intensity of transitioning to AE  increased by at least 20 percent
  • AE-knowledgeable human resources capacity grown by at least two AE experts at bachelors, MSc, and PhD degrees; at least two of their research papers published in peer-reviewed journals
  • At least 40 AE actors in eastern Uganda have resilient food systems
  • Review of literature paper on business models for AE produced and published
  • Policy review paper with recommendations for transitioning to AE and resilient food systems produced and published
  • Stated outputs and outcomes making significant contribution to overall project because in line with Strategy 2 of CRFS to influence global and cross-national funding flows, policies, research norms, and agendas toward AE transformation