In Uganda, agriculture employs 73% of the total labor force. However, agricultural production and productivity keep plummeting as a result of the rapidly changing climate, scarce and inaccessible extension workers, inability to access financial support due to higher interest rate, limited access to high quality inputs (and when affordable tend to be fake) and limited financial literacy. Subsequently , these challenges dis-empower vulnerable farming households with respect to their ability to enroll and earn from f farming as a business.
Under this program, farmers are trained to form village cooperatives where each member contributes a small weekly fee to a pooled community fund. In the event that a member experiences an unexpected financial crisis they can borrow from the group fund, the group may also apply for soft loans from the community fund at Cosma to help them invest in value chain, crop insurance and social needs. These community-run funds foster a spirit of creativity, teamwork, and entrepreneurial ambition, further contributing to poverty reduction in the area.
Cosma organizes periodic community training on efficient, sustainable farming practices, covering such topics as crop insurance, spacing, pest control, and fertilizer use. In conjunction with these training, we provide improved high-yield seeds, farming equipment, and access to storage and processing facilities, as well as collective marketing. The goal of these efforts is to increase crop yield while giving farmers greater control over their products, including how and when they sell them, so that they may maximize farming profits. This increases both financial and food security.