The USAID/UGANDA Feed the Future Institutional Systems Strengthening Activity – ISSA reechoed its commitment to support UNFFE in areas especially, providing technical assistance to build the federation’s capacity to effectively and efficiently drive inclusive agriculture-led economic growth. Speaking at the First National Farmers Summit Christabel Tumwebaze the Institutional Strengthening Advocacy Director at Feed the Future – ISSA mentioned that it is within their mandate to support UNFFE as an Industry Apex Organization to serve its members which is why they are looking at continuously helping UNFFE through several activities not limited to those around, policy, and advocacy, communication, strategic planning, institutional processes, and operational guidelines as well as business development services.
She noted that although ISSA-Activity is just one year old, a lot of work was achieved while working with UNFFE. Such as; carrying out an Organizational Capacity Assessment-OCA, training on communication, and use of ICT platforms, training on collaboration, learning, and adaption, and also holding regional meetings on key performance indicators.
Christabel also pointed out more areas that ISS Activity has identified UNFFE as a key implementing partner. She noted that ISSA has partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries-MAAIF to roll out the National Food and Agricultural Statistics Systems – NFASS to provide accurate, timely, consistent, disaggregated, and accessible Agricultural sector data to facilitate planning, and decision making at all levels for the public and private sector.
Secondly, she said that ISSA will support the Department of Crop inspection to develop an agri-input traceability system with technical support from Eight Tech Consult. The system is important for UNFFE members in way that it will improve compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary standards. She noted that ISSA is also working with the Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives to develop a digital platform to register all cooperatives in the country.
She added that the Activity is working with the Uganda Metrological Department to roll out a weather information dissemination system where farmers will be able to get timely weather information. Christabel also noted that the Activity entered into a partnership with Makerere University and Bugema University to roll out a soil mapping initiative to help farmers to understand their soil better to increase productivity and production.
She further noted that as an Activity, they are in partnership with Crop Life Uganda to run a campaign to promote the proper disposal of chemical containers where farmers will be empowered to learn how they can recycle chemical containers to save their lives and the environment. Christabel also said that in the second year of operation, the Activity would work with the Insurance Regulatory Authority and the Agricultural Insurance Consortium to support farmers on the issue of agro-insurance.
She said that the government is also providing about 5 billion however more is needed therefore, the Activity will run a study on how to improve this initiative.
In her concluding remarks, Christabel reassured UNFFE of total support and commitment towards changing the sector, especially in the areas mentioned above but more so in supporting UNFFE’s efforts in promoting agricultural digitalization through UNFFE ICT4Farmers and the Farmer barazas.