Press release – CATALIST program Uganda

BiD Network and the International Fertilizer Development Center have signed an agreement for a program that aims to improve the performance, business plans and access to finance of SMEs in the Irish potato, cassava, oil seeds (soybeans and sunflower) and rice value chains in Uganda. The ultimate goal is to contribute to an increase in rural incomes and trade in Uganda along with increasing food security in the region. The program is part of a 4-year regional project financed by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and implemented by the International Fertilizer Development Center in Uganda, called “Catalyze Accelerated Agricultural Intensification for Social and Environmental Stability” (CATALIST).

The goal of CATALIST-Uganda is to sustainably commercialize smallholder agriculture through improved productivity and market development, resulting in marketable surpluses that raise farm incomes in Uganda, and increase regional food security for the wider East Africa and Great Lakes Region. Starting with the ‘pull’ of the market by working with commodities for which there is strong demand, CATALIST-Uganda will employ a systems approach to develop integrated cropping systems around priority commodities – Irish potato, cassava, oilseeds (soybeans and sunflower), and rice – combined with an accelerated cluster development approach appropriate for Uganda. In addition to agricultural intensification, attention will be paid to input market development (both seeds and fertilizer), output marketing, linkages to Dutch and other agribusinesses, and improvement of the policy environment. The CATALIST-Uganda program aspires to enable smallholder farmers to improve production, productivity, and quality in commodity-specific cropping systems (production push), and to enable agribusiness clusters to create value by selling into national, East Africa regional, and international/Dutch markets and agri-businesses (market pull).

In this program, BiD Network, in conjunction with IRIS Uganda, will implement a range of services that support these SMEs to get ready for finance and to access finance, such as coaching, business plan feedback, Ready4Finance training and investor matchmaking services.

Please keep an eye on www.bidnetwork.org for updates.

More information about the CATALIST Uganda program can be found here.

For information, please contact: Annemarie van Mossel, annemarie.vanmossel@bidnetwork.org