The Sustainable and Secure Smallholder Systems @ Scale, commonly known as 4S@Scale, started operations in Uganda on 1 July 2014.
The programme is targeting 20,000 farmers in three districts: Bushenyi in the east, Kiboga in the central region and Sipi in the west of the country. Months of preparatory work has seen staff already recruited and targets agreed on to make the roll-out immediate. KAWACOM Uganda Ltd, has also been identified as the implementing agency.
“The targeted farmers will not only get access to markets, but to financial services in the form of credit, hence giving them the opportunity to buy farm inputs. We will also be giving the farmers the chance to start using bio-slurry on their crops either directly on their coffee crop or as compost on other crops,” says Geoffrey Ongera, the 4S@scale programme manager.
Uganda offers the programme new opportunities, as farmers in the country sell the coffee directly to the market, unlike in Kenya where a well-established co-operative sector buys farmers’ coffee. Uganda also has local Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA), which will be used as vehicles to access credit. VSLAs act as self-help saving groups and are popular across the country.
4S@Scale aims to increase farm productivity levels in the Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, through the following ways:
- adoption of good agricultural practices
- incorporating the use of bio-digesters and bio-slurry
- diversification of income streams
- inclusion of women and youth
4S@Scale is a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) with a five year mandate and is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Hivos, Ecom Agroindustrial Corp. Ltd; Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers – KENFAP; Sustainable Management Services (SMS) and Tutunze Kahawa Ltd (Tanzania).