Farmers in Kapchorwa have been lacking modern infrastructure. Copyright: WFP/Vanessa Vick
Kapchorwa's first modern warehouse brings hope of prosperity to smallholders in the eastern Uganda region.
KAPCHORWA – A representative of smallholder farmers in the Kapchorwa area in eastern Uganda today welcomed the establishment of a US$1.4 million WFP-sponsored grain warehouse in their region.
David Kisa, Chief Executive Officer of the Kapchorwa Commercial Farmers’ Association (KACOFA), said the warehouse project meant “one major step in improving the handling of grain in the Sebei region”.
“The warehouse will go a long way towards reducing post-harvest losses – currently about 40 percent – and increasing access to important services in the grain industry including quality control, weighing, bulking, cleaning, drying and packaging,” he said.
The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde, commissioned the 2,000 metric-ton capacity warehouse along with the United States ambassador to Uganda, Jerry Lanier, whose government funded the project through WFP.
A better price
“This is an important day for farmers, many of whom function at subsistence levels due to a lack of infrastructure and poor access to markets," said Lanier. "This warehouse and the concepts that manage it will help them get more of their products into better markets for a better price.”
The Kapchorwa warehouse was constructed and equipped under WFP’s Purchase for Progress initiative (P4P). In Uganda P4P supports smallholder farmer groups through modern infrastructure, post-harvest training and other investments that help them produce and sell more quality grain at a better price.
Smallholder farmer groups in Uganda face some major constraints, all of which are addressed by P4P: a lack of modern stores and, partly because of that, poor quality grain, low productivity and limited access to credit.
Helping region recover
Kapchorwa is one of several warehouse facilities that WFP has been upgrading in different parts of Uganda with funding from the United States, Japan and Saudi Arabia and other donors. Late last year, another WFP-sponsored warehouse was commissioned in northern Uganda with the aim of helping the region recover from years of conflict.
WFP’s investments are the result of a joint agreement signed with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and the National Development Plan and are designed to support structured trading through a warehouse receipt system implemented by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives.
The Kapchorwa warehouse will be managed by KACOFA on a 50% cost-recovery basis, and will handle maize, wheat, barley and sorghum. Already Kapchorwa has won a contract to supply 900 tons of maize to WFP.
The United States is the largest funder of WFP's humanitarian and agriculture and market support activities including P4P. This warehouse project is part of the American 'Feed the Future' initiative.