Online launch of KILIMOMART Mobile app and webiste

ESAFF Uganda in partnership with Kenya Small Scale Farmers’ Forum with support from IIDEA GIZ has developed KilimoMart App and website with the objectives of;

1) Building market linkages for organic products between small scale farmers and consumers.
2) Empowering small-scale farmers in Kenya and Uganda (and the EAC region) to explore and utilize the current agriculture trade prospects in the region.
3) Strengthening inclusive small-scale farmers’ online engagement with different stakeholders in the EAC region to promote regional integration.

KilimoMart gives small scale farmers in EAC the opportunity to access information like market information, farming practices and techniques, weather information, laws, and policies including East African Community (EAC) updates.

The online launch will take place on 5th May 2020 at 02:30 EAT. Kindly register and attend the event. We look forward to your online presence despite your busy schedules.

For more information:

Nancy Mugimba
National Coordinator

Visit the App website:

COVID-19: Agriculture in East Africa takes a hit

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak has severely impacted economic activities in Africa’s Rwanda. Agriculture is one of them.

Despite official claims that agriculture must continue even with restrictions in place to curb the COVID-19 spread, farmers have been facing difficulties.

Jeremie Ruhirwa, a Rwandan agro-dealer could not buy di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) fertilizer, despite multiple efforts.

“Inputs are prepaid to an accredited wholesaler. I traveled around an hour on my motorcycle to get to the office, but it was closed. I called up their employees, but they could not come due to lack of public transport,” he said.

People who needed DAP were resorting to other fertilizers potentially harmful to their crops, he added.

In principle, services including veterinary pharmacies, livestock feeds, fertilizers, harvesting, transportation and trading of farm produce, agriculture extension services, and agro-processing, as well as marketing of processed foods and beverages, come under essential services.

“Essential services continue to be delivered so that food chain is not disrupted,” a statement signed by Gerardine Mukeshimana, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Rwanda, read.

Despite guidelines, experts said the ban on movement has affected multiple sectors, including agriculture.

“Some people earn from non-agricultural businesses to get investment, which is now shut. Others who sent money to their relatives for agricultural purposes are now using it for their own survival. Most fertilizers and seeds retailers use public transport, which is currently unavailable,” said Teddy Kaberuka, an economist.

According to Africa Agriculture Status Report 2018, about 70 percent of the continent’s population work as smallholder farmers on land less than two hectares. The lockdown has dealt the most severe blow to them.

“The money I earned from cleaning at a school used to help me cultivate crops. But schools are now shut and I am unable to earn. I don’t have the money to get seeds and fertilizers,” said Theogene Bahanugira, a smallholder farmer.

“We employ several daily wagers but have stopped in lieu of social distancing measures. When I wanted to transport bean stakes for my farm, I was told that I will have to get permission for the same. So I decided to hire people to do the job. This increased the cost of production,” Joseph Gafaranga, farmer and secretary-general, Imbaraga Farmers Organization said.

To cope with the challenges, Director-General of Rwanda Agricultural Board, Karangwa Patrick, advised farmers to shift to mechanized farming.

“A tractor is more affordable. Most providers charge around 100,000 Rwandan Franc (FRw) ($110) per hectare, while you may need 150 people for a hectare, which may cost you over FRw 180,000 ($190). We have over 115 tractors countrywide owned by private companies,” he said.

However, the Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, QU Dongyu said on March 28 that restrictions of movement may impede farming processing.

Shortage of fertilizers, veterinary medicines and other input could also affect agricultural production.

Story by:  Christophe Hitayezu

Read the original story here

New project for EAC farmers launched

26 Feb 2020 , ,

Despite the integration of 6 economies in the East African Community (EAC), many  Small -scale farmers especially women have for so long not felt the impact of the Integration on their Livelihood.

The problem has been squired on poor information flow related to markets available for agricultural producers and the economic opportunities the EAC Integration offers to smallholder farmers.

It’s against this background that small-scale farmers from Uganda and Kenya with support from Development partners  have launched  an integrated Information Communication Technology project that will help farmers to address the challenge of Information flow related  to agricultural products and the economic potential of the integration among  the EAC Countries, majorly Uganda and Kenya

Under the project code-named Kilimo Mart Application, an ICT application will be developed to aid farmers to share information using Information Communication technology gadgets such as Mobile phones.

By using the application, farmers will be in a position to access information related to markets for their products.

According to Andrew Adem the  Programs Manager of the Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers’ Forum (ESAFF) Uganda,  if the application is well embraced by the sector holders it will open many Agro-business opportunities to the small farmers in the East African region.

“ESAFF Uganda in partnership with Kenya Small Scale Farmers’ Forum (KESSFF) and with support from Incubator for Integration and Development in East Africa( IIDEA), GIZ and the EAC will be implementing a project that will boost trade opportunities for agricultural products and services through promoting small-scale farmers’ access to markets and information in East Africa.

“This will create market opportunities for small-scale farmers and consumers to utilize the current trade prospects and share agricultural information using ICT,” said Adem during the on-line launch of the project at the ESAFF Uganda offices in Kampala.

Adem added that the project will play a very vital role in empowering women small -scale farmers hence improving household livelihood.

The Kilimo Mart Application is a 12 months project that will be jointly implemented by ESAFF Uganda and KESSFF with support from Development partners such as the African Union, GIZ,  IIDEA among others.

Why farming communities are coming up with the marketing application?

It’s believed that although the East African Community has a population of about 146 million people, the potential consumers of Agricultural related products alongside those of the Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), farmers are not feeling the economic benefits of such integration.

Margaret Masudio a small scale farmer from Adjumani district said the project will provide an opportunity for small-scale farmers who cannot access markets to access them considering that cooperatives, that used to help them in marketing collapsed.

She added that the EAC integration should present an opportunity to share market information and cross border trade.

Other farmers from Uganda said that  East African Members states should ensure that smallholder farmers tap into the opportunities that come alongside with the regional economic integration.

Masudio observed that many smallholder farmers are not aware of the regional integration which prevents them from tapping into the wider opportunities.