Youth Sustainable Enterprises for Equitable Development (SEED) project focuses on developing interest among the youth to engage in agricultural production. To generate this interest, youth who are already engaged in the current SENTE Project as Village Enterprise Agents (VEAs) will be mobilized to engage in the agricultural value chain as input dealers by supporting them with business training and startup capital to set up agro input shops.
The project will support the VEAs to:
- set up agro input distribution and application services;
- offer postharvest and processing services;
- facilitate collective marketing;
- facilitate farmers’ access to financial services; and
- provide ongoing extension and quality control support.
The project will partner with Balton Uganda who will facilitate VEA trainings, run radio campaigns and offer technical support to the VEAs. This will in turn enable 12,000 farmers to access agricultural inputs on credit and the associated extension services with an opportunity to pay back through the existing Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA). The VEAs will also facilitate group level produce bulking of beans, maize and coffee as commission agents of apex producer organizations to support collective marketing of the buying cooperatives from the three producer organizations in the SENTE project. It is anticipated that the creation of markets will fetch better prices for the farmer and ensure increased profitability of farmers and encourage greater production there by creating a sustainable market for the VEA’s services. This approach offers a unique opportunity in that the VEAs and the farmers play a symbiotic role, where the farmers offer ready market, though on credit, for the agro inputs that are supplied by the village enterprise agents, while on the other hand the VEAs support the farmers using an accompaniment approach on the input use through practical application of the seeds, fertilizers and pesticides in the farmers’ gardens.
The overall goal of the project will be increased incomes for the young men and women who will participate in the agriculture value chain.
- Young men and women participate in the agriculture value chain
- Targeted youths have increased linkages with agro-input sources
- Targeted youths have increased knowledge on input application
- Targeted youths have increased capacity to run agro-input shops in the target area
- Targeted youths have increased income generating streams in the agriculture value chain