Uganda: Lutheran World Relief to Lead Five-Year AgResults Legume Seeds Pilot

The AgResults Uganda Legume Seeds Pilot aims to test the use of a pull mechanism to increase sales of quality, certified soybean, bean and ground nut seeds in Uganda.

Baltimore, MD — In Uganda, demand uncertainty, barriers to working capital, and challenges faced by seed breeders have constrained seed companies from producing sufficient quality, certified legume seeds, thus limiting farmers’ ability to grow legumes such as bean, groundnuts and soy beans. The AgResults Pilot (www.agresults.org), managed by Lutheran World Relief, will aim to test the effectiveness of using a pull mechanism with seed companies in Uganda in order to increase smallholder farmer access to quality, certified legume seeds.

Why Legumes Matter
While legumes are important for smallholder farmers in Uganda, both as cash crops and subsistence crops for family nutrition, there are gaps between demand and supply of quality, certified varieties of the legume seeds.

“At Lutheran World Relief, we are confident this Pilot will effectively test the use of a pull mechanism to address an important nutrition, food security and development challenge: the struggle to access good quality seed,” said Kenneth Barigye, LWR’s Uganda program Country Director. “This pilot will serve as an important learning tool to evaluate how pull mechanisms can be used to overcome market challenges and gaps.”

Overcoming market challenges by incentivizing the private sector
To help break down these barriers and improve Ugandan farmers’ access to government certified legume seed varieties, Lutheran World Relief (LWR) announced today that they have been named Pilot Manager for the AgResults Uganda Legume Seeds Pilot, a new five-year pilot project. AgResults aims to increase private sector investment in food security and agriculture across the globe. Through economic performance-based incentives for measurable, verifiable results, AgResults promotes private sector investment where it may otherwise be absent or hindered due to uncertainties in the region or other market barriers. The AgResults Uganda Legume Seeds Pilot project is designed to incentivize seed companies with a financial payout based on the growth in sales of quality, certified legume seeds.

Lutheran World Relief has worked in Uganda for 30 years, focusing on supporting small-scale farmers. Programs have aimed to help farmers increase productivity and income, while also adjusting to a changing climate and dealing with political and economic instability in the region.

“It’s challenging work,” said Barigye, “but we have extensive experience working with seed sector stakeholders in Uganda and look forward to using that network to make the AgResults Uganda Legume Seeds Pilot a success.”

Boniface Mugisa will act as Team Leader for the Pilot. Mugisa has more than 20 years of experience managing the implementation of public and private sector seed programs aimed at improving food production and incomes of smallholder farmers in Uganda. Roy Magoba will act as Verification Officer, utilizing his 15 years of experience in the finance sector and in project management working with microfinance banks as well as large industrial conglomerates throughout the East Africa region.

The Pilot is funded through a $1,530,000 contract with Deloitte Consulting LLP. Additional information on Lutheran World Relief’s work in Uganda is available at:http://programs.lwr.org/africa/uganda

About Lutheran World Relief (LWR):
Lutheran World Relief works to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and people experiencing poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America, both in times of emergencies and for the long term. With the financial support of US Lutherans and other donors, LWR strengthens communities through programs in agriculture, climate, and emergency support. LWR works with partners, supporters and technical assistance providers to achieve lasting results. For more information, visitlwr.org.

Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of U.S. Lutherans, serving communities living in poverty overseas.