“We could suddenly see the potential and if we worked together, we knew it was possible,” reflects Jacob.
Jacob is one of the Community Agricultural Trainers (CATs) in Amuria in Uganda, working within his farmer group to help households improve their food security by using better farming methods. Signpost started work in the area in 2011 when households were only food secure for 7 months of the year.
“The farmer groups helped us work together to not only make sure we had food for our families all year round, but to make it possible for us to sell our excess produce!” says Jacob. “Signpost started a process of capacity building, providing exposure visits and teaching record keeping, savings, improved agricultural practices and food storage,” explains Jacob. “We quickly realised the benefits to be gained from combining our food together and selling it in bulk at market. This inspired us to mobilise together as farmers with other groups and form a cooperative society.”
“As a cooperative, we can access credit of around 200,000 Uganda shillings (£40) to help us better farm. We used to only be able to access up to 50,000 shillings (£10) in the past” says Jacob. “We are also ensuring that our produce is of a high quality and we are being respected and recognised as business owners, able to sell our produce successfully!”.