LWR has been working with local partners in Uganda since 1985 to address the root causes of poverty and improve livelihoods. LWR’s approach focuses on small-scale farmers, helping them to improve their crop productivity for increased income and food security.
Coffee, Corn and Bean Value Chains
With improved participation in agricultural value chains, farmers are able to satisfy their consumption needs and have sufficient amounts to sell as surplus. LWR works with local farmer organizations to provide technical advisory services so that farmers increase their productivity and their income. Farmers learn how to improve crop quality through proper crop production, post-harvest handling and processing techniques, as well as proper storage and collective marketing. LWR also helps farmers produce clean, labeled and export-grade cash crops targeted at regional and international markets, including Organic, Fair Trade, Geographical Indications and other internationally recognized certifications for coffee.
Impact Investing – Mountain Harvest
Mountain Harvest SMC Ltd is an Arabica coffee processing company based in Mbale that LWR founded under its impact investing arm, Ground Up Investing LLC, to establish and expand trade between Ugandan coffee farmers and Fair Trade and specialty coffee buyers in Europe, North America and Asia.
Mountain Harvest sources its Arabica beans from local smallholder farmers and their cooperatives with whom we promote climate-smart, sustainable farming practices to help them produce coffee of the best possible quality. We offer farmers strong prices along with a bonus for every kilo sold so that they are better able to provide for their families, invest in their crops and land, and ultimately, drive inclusive growth within the local economy. Mountain Harvest profits are reinvested into further development of and opportunities for Ugandan coffee farming communities.
Climate Smart Agriculture
Changing climate conditions can threaten crop production. LWR complements its efforts to improve agronomic practices by promoting climate smart agriculture techniques such as agroforestry, soil conservation and nutrient management, sustainable water access and use, environmentally-sensitive pest management, crop diversification, and the promotion of resilient crop varieties.
LWR works with farmer organizations to strengthen their technical and organizational capacities so that they can provide sustainable, equitable and quality services to their members. Working together with partners, LWR develops action plans adapted to the specific capacity strengthening needs of each organization. Plans are often focused on transparency and governance, policies and procedures, and the provision of services, such as agricultural extension, access to credit, access to inputs, bulking and sales to a higher value market. Such services increase farmer crop productivity and income, demonstrating the value of collective action and increasing the willingness of farmers to pay for such services. This in turn supports the operational sustainability of farmer organizations.
Uganda Legume Seeds Pilot
LWR is the manager of the Uganda Legume Seeds Pilot, a five-year project under the AgResults initiative, designed to improve Ugandan farmers’ access to government certified and quality legume seed varieties. It operates a results-driven “pull mechanism” that incentivizes seeds companies by giving them a financial payout based on increased sales of legume seeds. The Legume Seeds Pilot aims at building a stronger and more competitive local seed industry. Please see agresults.org for more information on the initiative.
Since 2016, LWR has been working with Uganda Red Cross Society to distribute LWR Quilts made and assembled by US Lutherans to people in need. LWR also supports South Sudan and Congolese refugees in Palabek and Kyaka II refugee settlements respectively to reduce their vulnerability and that of host communities to food insecurity and poverty.