The strategic intervention for scaling up the production of high value crops
The strategic intervention for scaling up the production of high value crops, macadamia, hass avocado and cashew nuts
The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has developed an Agriculture Value Chain Development Strategy (AVCDS) to align all agro-industralisation programme interventions to the PDM framework. The strategy re-states what to do under each value chain component, proposes the relevant approaches to adopt and defines the roles of various actors in the National Development Plan (NDP) III and Parish Development Model (PDM) Framework. It is the basis for resource allocation and budget execution beginning with the FY 2022/23 and the medium term.
One of the key objectives under the Agriculture Value Chain Development Strategy is promotion of partnerships with big commercial farmers for the production of strategic commodities including Macadamia, Hass Avocado and cashew nuts among other enterprises that have national and international demand. This is aimed at scaling up production of these commodities to take advantage of the growing, national, regional and international markets.
This guideline is premised on the promotion of partnerships with big commercial farmers for the production of Macadamia and Hass Avocado and delineates the roles of the key stakeholders specifying their responsibilities.
EMERGING STRATEGIC CROPS
Macadamia, Hass Avocado and Cashew Nuts
The Government of Uganda has identified the production of Hass Avocado, Macadamia and cashew nuts as priority interventions with enormous potential to contribute to the agricultural sector growth. Despite existing potential for production, the commercial supply of Hass avocado and Macadamia is still minimal.
Macadamia, Hass Avocado and cashew nuts are currently some of the most highly demanded commodities in a world market whose sensitivity to quality parameters is very high, the promotion of these commodities therefore requires a model that enables traceability and achievement of high-quality standards at each segment of the respective value chain.
The Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries has adopted the Nucleus Farmer model for the promotion of high value nontraditional agricultural export commodities. The Nucleus Farmer model has potential to ensure provision of knowledge and skills to farmers within appropriate institutional arrangements for the production and marketing of quality produce/products for the respective value chains. The nucleus farmer model therefore presents a big opportunity to promote the development of Macadamia, Hass avocado and cashew nut production in Uganda.
The nucleus farmers are encouraged to select farmers with a minimum of an acre but medium to large scale farmers are preferred (5 to 50 acres). This implies 45 to 75 seedlings at a recommended spacing of 7.5 x7.5m or 10m x10m respectively.
There are mainly two varieties of Macadamia namely: Muranga and Kembu. It is planned that these varieties will be promoted due to their high demand in the world market.
The nucleus farmers are encouraged to select farmers with a minimum of an acre but medium to large scale farmers are preferred (5 to 50 acres). This implies 160 seedlings at a recommended spacing 5mx5m.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF KEY STAKEHOLDERS IN MACADAMIA AND HASS AVOCADO INTERVENTION
The main constraints in the Macadamia and Hass Avocado value chains are limited availability of quality planting materials and absence of institutional frameworks for acquisition and utilization of certified planting materials which have curtailed the sub-sector’s ability to operate at its full potential. This guideline therefore prioritizes the nucleus farmer model as a vehicle for farmer mobilization and provision of planting materials to optimally ramp up production and value addition and export of the country in the country.
Roles of the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries
The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries will take lead in the provision of quality assurance for Macadamia and Hass Avocado seedlings distributed to farmers. The ministry will carry out the following functions:
- Provide inspection of nurseries of nucleus farmers contracted to supply Macadamia and Hass Avocado seedlings to farmers to ensure quality and timeliness in distribution of seedlings to farmers
- Provide technical guidance on the varieties of Macadamia and Hass Avocado to undertaken by NAADS.
Government through NAADS will provide the funds for the intervention to increase Macadamia and Hass Avocado production in the country. For the intervention to be sustainable, government will provide funding in both the short and medium term for the commodities. The intervention will be implemented through large scale farmers in line with MAAIF policy guidance. The following functions will be performed by NAADS:
- NAADS will identify participating districts for the strategic intervention for Macadamia and Hass Avocado in line with the MAAIF zoning strategy
- NAADS will identify nucleus farmers to participate in the production of the Macadamia and Hass Avocado through an appropriate procurement process
- NAADS in collaboration with District Local Governments will verify demands from out growers willing to participate in the production of Macadamia and Hass Avocado
- Together with MAAIF, NAADS will verify the quality and quantity of seedlings from nucleus farmers prior to supply
- NAADS will support nucleus farmers on mutually agreed activities as stipulated in the MOUs, to be signed between NAADS, Nucleus Farmers and the respective district local governments. Possible areas of support include: provision of subsidized high-quality seedlings, agro-machinery, value addition, storage and agro processing facilities.
District Local Governments
The district local governments are crucial for the success of the interventions and will play generally mobilization and oversight roles. Specifically, the district local governments will carry out the following functions:
- Supporting mobilization of farmers to participate in the interventions
- Verification of the quality and quantity of macadamia and Hass Avocado seedlings to be delivered to farmers
- Provision of extension services and support supervision to producer groups
- Provision of Business Development Services to existing and emerging producer groups
- Provision of support to nucleus farmers including identification of production clusters and target beneficiaries
- Provision of training and market linkage services to participating farmers.
- In collaboration with other key stakeholders, monitor and evaluate performance of the strategic intervention
- Mobilization of more farmers into out growers’ networks associations/cooperatives
- Sensitization of farmers to participate in this intervention and other emerging opportunities
- Provision and distribution of inputs especially seedlings and others such as fertilizers to beneficiary farmers
- Provision of Business Development Services to producer groups
- Provision of technical knowledge and extension services to out growers
- Guide members on marketing arrangements/linkages for farmers produce
- Provision of credit support to the out-grower farmers
- Provision of agro-processing services for all the produce
- Recover 30% to the cost of seedlings provided
- Ensure proper post-harvest handling and storage of the produce
- Establish linkages with appropriate markets/off takers
Members of Nucleus Farmer Networks
- Provision of land and labor for the growing of Macadamia and Hass Avocado provided by the nucleus farmers
- Contribute 30% to the cost of the seedlings distributed by the nuleus farmers in time
- Timely planting and management of the gardens including weeding, pest and disease control and timely harvesting
- Protection of established the gardens from destruction by animals and fires
- Maintenance of close linkage with the nucleus farmers and adherence to rules and regulations for the implementation of the planned activities
Parish Development Committees
- Mobilization of farmers to participate in production of Macadamia and Hass Avocado.
- Provision of support monitoring of nucleus farmers and out-growers
- Prioritization Macadamia and Hass Avocado in the PDC
- Provision of funds to out-growers for investments in the production of Macadamia and Hass Avocado
PROCUREMENT AND DELIVERY ARRANGEMENTS
The procurement of goods and services for the Macadamia and Hass Avocado scheme will follow the laws governing procurement and disposal of assets (PPDA Act). The major item of procurement will be the acquisition of improved planting materials. NAADS will integrate the procurement requirements within its annual procurement plan.
The procurement process will include sourcing of the goods and services which will be done under restricted bidding procurement method. The following processes will be employed;
Nucleus farmers willing to participate in the Macadamia and Hass Avocado scheme will be procured for a period of 3 years through restricted procurement.
Successful bidders will be issued with framework contracts valid for a period of 3 years.NAADS will procure seedlings from selected pre-qualified nucleus farmers who meet quality requirements for Macadamia and Hass Avocado
Modalities of distribution
The modalities for distribution of seedlings under this intervention will be systematic in line with a demand list generated by the nucleus farmers and verified by DLGs and NAADS. Upon inspection of the seedlings by MAAIF crop certification department, the seedlings will be procured and delivered to the selected farmers by the nucleus farmers in line with a verified list of beneficiaries submitted to NAADS by the nucleus farmers and DLGs.
Cost sharing arrangements
In order to inculcate the sense of ownership and for proper care of the macadamia and Hass Avocado gardens, beneficiary farmers will contribute 30% of the cost of the seedlings at the time of delivery. The funds will be remitted by the nucleus farmers to NAADS as Non-Tax Revenue
Beneficiaries of the Macadamia and Hass Avocado intervention will be selected by Nucleus farmers working together with the District Local Governments and the Parish Development Committees. Selected beneficiaries will be endorsed by DLGs and submitted to NAADS for verification prior to seedling delivery and distribution for further follow up and monitoring.
Preparation of farmers is critical to the success of enterprise development and promotion. It entails supporting the farmer to get ready both mentally and physically to engage and operate a particular commodity value chain in a business manner. Mental support involves preparing the farmer to learn and appreciate the business aspect of the commodity value chain in question, resources required and the range of activities involved in effective management of the value chain, information on availability of technical expertise, appropriate markets and prices, opportunities and envisaged challenges. Once the farmer is mentally ready, the decision to allocate resources to the development of a particular value chain including land, labour and capital will be made easy.
Subsequently, the farmer is guided to get ready physically by ensuring the following are in place;
- Land allocated and prepared
- Availability of labor and farm equipment
- Availability of the 30% cofounding for the quantity of seedling required
- Having a set of books for managing the farm records
- Availability and active participation of the family members
Recovery of funds for beneficiaries of Macadamia and Hass Avocado
This is an arrangement whereby farmers will be required to pay back the value of the seed they receive from NAADS. This is intended to help farmers continue appreciating the concept of farming as a business but also to value and utilize the support better to generate increased incomes.
With the new approach of working with and through Large Scale Farmers and organized farmer institutions, Government of Uganda through NAADS will contribute 70% of the seedling costs while the farmer will contribute the 30% of the total seedling cost.
To effectively implement the recovery initiative, a memorandum of understanding will be signed between NAADS Secretariat and the nucleus farmers, witnessed by the district local governments.
Identification of Nucleus Farmers
Government has prioritized support to large scale farmers as a viable mechanism for increasing production of strategic crops for food and income security and industrial use. Production of Macadamia and Hass Avocado using large scale farmers will be intensified. The following process shall be followed:
- NAADS will advertise for expression of interests for large scale farmers willing to participate as nucleus farmers in this intervention
- NAADS together with DLGS will sensitize the farmers and develop seasonal targets for Macadamia and Hass Avocado and generate seedling demands.
Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanisms
The intervention to increase the production of Macadamia and Hass Avocado is a crucial exercise which requires good planning and efficient delivery system. All stakeholders will ensure monitoring of processes and outputs are carried out effectively.
At the National level, MAAIF, NAADS and relevant MDAs such as MTIC, UCA, MFPED, UOSPA and others carry out intensive monitoring of the program. Seasonal activities will be well planned and monitored to ensure successful intervention.