Building AFARD's Financial Sustainability
Donor financing is becoming increasingly limited, competitive, and dictated. Many NGOs have flooded the donor market arena and many big donors prefer international NGOs. As a result, many local NGOs are forced to sidestep their vision in search for "quick funds" and NGO staffing and outreaches are continuing to reduce substantially.
AFARD is facing similar challenges in this unpredictable NGO financing landscape. Zealous of its vision and aware that the exceptionally high poverty levels in West Nile region will take time to reduce to the national average, AFARD strives for hard work, at times with independence, innovations, and risk taking. Consequently, AFARD has been piloting social enterprises with win-win-win gains for smallholder farmers, farmer groups, and itself.
In 2014, the following were pursued to learn market dynamics:
- Produce marketing especially of simsim where AFARD provides extension services, bridging finance for farmers, and contract negotiations with big buyers. This component has witnessed the bulking and marketing of more than 100 MT.
- Poultry farming (of layers) to ensure regular supply of fresh eggs to Nebbi town that used to depend on egg supply from Kampala. Overall, 4,000 birds are reared.
- Subsidized tractor hire service to enable farmers increase their acreage for hence yield and income given that farm productivity in Uganda for now is dependent on cultivated land sizes.
- Crop production of vegetables, beans, Irish potato, and cassava on its farmland.
- Small solar trade whereby AFARD procures supplies from solar traders and work with farmer group representatives to sell to their members on a commission basis.