Harnessing Uganda’s Agricultural Potential to Improve Farmers’ Lives

Socially-focussed agribusiness improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers whilst strengthening Uganda’s agricultural value chain
May 14, 2018 8:05 AM ET
Press Release

TORORO, Uganda, May 14, 2018 /3BL Media/ --  Divine Masters Ltd (DML), a Ugandan socially-focussed agribusiness enterprise, has joined Business Call to Action (BCtA) with the aim to incorporate 96,000 Ugandan farmers into its agricultural value chain, increasing their production yields, reduce post-harvest losses through climate adaptation practices, improve access to markets and increase household income by 10 percent by 2020. 

Launched in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people with less than US$10 per day in purchasing power (in 2015 dollars) as consumers, producers, suppliers and distributors. It is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Agriculture is a key pillar of the Ugandan economy, accounting for 24 percent of GDP and two thirds of the labour force. Agriculture is thus the main source of income and pathway out of poverty for many. However, in a country rich with agricultural potential, the sector still underperforms as most crops are produced on smallholder farms with limited use of technology. 

DML has been working with smallholder farmers in Uganda to improve their livelihoods since 2010.  They operate their own 5,200-acre farm that incorporates outgrower farmers, traditionally smallholder farmers that have difficulties getting their stock to market, with outgrower schemes that guarantees purchase of their crops. DML represents more than 50,000 rural farmers and through their inclusive business model they are able to integrate them into the Ugandan agricultural value chain and can increase purchase of crops up to 20 percent above market rates.

Under its BCtA commitment, DML is aiming to utilise Uganda’s agricultural value chain through three targeted activities: knowledge transfer and training, developing rural agricultural infrastructure, and increasing financial inclusion for rural smallholder farmers. DML creates a strong supplier base, providing farmers guaranteed purchase and above-the-market prices of 20 percent mark-up for quality deliveries at the bulking centres under out-grower agreements. Through this initiative DML helps farmers at the bottom of the economic pyramid lift themselves out of poverty.

“Unlocking Uganda’s agricultural potential through the development of its value chain will help smallholder farmers engaged in DML’s initiative increase their yields through improved knowledge, agricultural infrastructure and financial inclusion, which will ultimately lead to a clear and sustainable path out of poverty,” said BCtA Programme Manager Paula Pelaez.

DML is collaborating with local district governments and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, the German governments’ development agency, to bring increased expertise to boost the training component and help farmers operate more efficiently and sustainably.

“By developing Uganda’s agricultural infrastructure from agronomic practices to financial inclusion we are providing smallholder farmers with the best opportunity to increase their yields and guarantee a market to supply, supporting both income-generating and subsistence activity,” said DML Managing Director Orisa Raphael Jawino.

For further information: 
BCtA Secretariat: at bcta.secretariat@undp.org
DML: Headquarters: at info@dml-uganda.com
BCtA membership does not constitute a partnership with its funding and programme partners, UNDP or any UN agency.
About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign AffairsSwedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)Swiss Agency for Development and CooperationUK Department for International DevelopmentUS Agency for International Development, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat. For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.
About Divine Masters Ltd: DIVINE MASTERS Ltd is a Ugandan socially-focussed agribusiness enterprise specializing in soy, rice, and maize production as well as value chain management in the Ugandan domestic market. DML operates on 5,200 acres of farmland in Tororo and Butalje, working with a network of over 50,000 agripreneurs that are managed through 216 farmers associations and 46 Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS). You can view us on www.dml-uganda.com or www.facebook.com/DivineMastersLtd  or https://www.linkedin.com/in/orisa-raphael-jawino-71724722 You can email us at info@dml-uganda.com.