Women in Agriculture

Insights from the Women in Agriculture Impact Investment (WAII) Facility, a Gender-Lens Approach in Agri-SME Financing.

Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs) stand as pivotal threads, driving economic growth and food security in the world of agriculture. Yet, amidst their significance, access to finance remains a formidable barrier, hindering their potential. Recognizing this challenge, Finding XY designed the Women in Agriculture Impact Investment (WAII) Facility to unravel these complexities and address the challenges of access to finance for youth and Agri-Smes across the East-African region

Agricultural SMEs represent a cornerstone of rural economies, particularly in developing the different nations, where they contribute significantly to employment and income generation. However, women, who play a fundamental role in agricultural production, often encounter systemic barriers when seeking financial resources, perpetuating gender disparities and limiting the sector’s inclusive growth potential.

With support from USAID Feed the Future Agricultural Inclusive Markets Activity (FTF.IAM) and a commitment to foster inclusive economic development through addressing the intersectionality of gender and finance in the agricultural landscape, the WAII Facility delved into the nuanced challenges and opportunities faced by Agri-Smes, with a keen focus on gender dynamics.

We share some lessons picked from the project over the past two years below:

  1. There are distinct financial needs and preferences among male and female entrepreneurs within the agricultural sector. While men often gravitated towards traditional loan products, women expressed a preference for flexible and tailored financial solutions that aligned with their unique circumstances and seasonal fluctuations.
  2. Deep-rooted socio-cultural norms and practices are significant barriers to women’s financial inclusion, influencing their access to markets, information, and decision-making processes and addressing these constraints necessitates a holistic approach, encompassing cultural sensitization, capacity-building initiatives, and community engagement.
  3. Digital financial services are a powerful enabler of gender-inclusive finance, offering innovative solutions to overcome traditional barriers such as geographic remoteness and lack of collateral. It is imperative that both men and women can access them and that there is digital literacy among women, ensuring they can fully harness the potential of digital platforms.
  4. Collaborative partnerships are keystones of success, bridging the gap between financial institutions, Agri-Smes, and gender-focused organizations. By fostering dialogue, knowledge exchange, and collective action, these partnerships can catalyze the development of tailored financial products and supportive ecosystems conducive to women’s economic empowerment.
  5. Policy and regulatory frameworks are critical in shaping the enabling environment for gender-inclusive finance. Advocacy efforts aimed at promoting gender-responsive policies, legal reforms, and institutional mechanisms are essential drivers of systemic change, fostering an environment conducive to women’s economic agency and empowerment.

Therefore, reducing the financing gap for women entrepreneurs is critical to the agricultural sector’s sustainability. Mitigating the challenge is a collective effort of impact investors, business advisors, financial institutions, and government agencies. If agriculture is truly the backbone of Africa’s economy, and women the biggest contributors to food security systems, then finding sustainable financing solutions for the Agri- SMEs is a pertinent issue worth immediate action.

Women in Agriculture


In the highlands of Kilembe, where the air is redolent with the rich aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans, Mt.Rwenzori has risen to prominence as a trailblazer in the world of coffee exportation. Founded in 2013 by a visionary entrepreneur with a passion for coffee and a commitment to excellence, Mt.Rwenzori has transformed into a global powerhouse, exporting premium coffee to different parts around the world. This is the story of how Mt.Rwenzori brewed success, one cup at a time.

Founding Vision

Mt.Rwenzori journey began it as an association with a simple yet profound vision: to share the unparalleled richness and complexity of coffee with coffee lovers worldwide. Inspired by the lush landscapes and fertile soils of Kilembe’s coffee-growing regions, the association turned into a co-operative union to establish direct relationships with local coffee farmers, ensuring fair prices and sustainable practices while preserving the integrity and authenticity of coffee.

Quality Assurance

At the heart of Mt.Rwenzori success lies an unwavering commitment to quality at every stage of the coffee production process. From precisely selecting the finest Arabica beans to employing expert roasters and state-of-the-art equipment, Mt.Rwenzori spares no effort in ensuring that each batch of coffee meets the highest standards of flavor, aroma, and consistency. Through rigorous quality control measures and continuous innovation, Mt.Rwenzori has earned a reputation for excellence that resonates with coffee connoisseurs country-wide.

Sustainable Sourcing

Recognizing the importance of environmental sustainability and social responsibility, Mt.Rwenzori forged partnerships with local coffee farmers committed to eco-friendly practices and fair labor standards. By promoting sustainable farming techniques, preserving biodiversity, and investing in community development projects, Mt.Rwenzori has not only safeguarded the future of coffee but also empowered farmers to improve their livelihoods and preserve their cultural heritage for generations to come.

Market Expansion

With its commitment to quality and sustainability firmly established, Mt.Rwenzori embarked on a journey of market expansion, capitalizing on growing global demand for premium coffee experiences. Leveraging its expertise in coffee sourcing, roasting, and growing, Mt.Rwenzori has devised means to successfully penetrate international markets in order to secure distribution agreements with specialty coffee shops, gourmet retailers, and upscale restaurants worldwide.

Brewing a Bright Future

As Mt.Rwenzori looks to the future, it remains committed to its founding principles of quality, sustainability, and community engagement. With a focus on innovation, collaboration, and continuous improvement, Mt.Rwenzori continues to push the boundaries of excellence in the coffee industry, striving to delight coffee lovers with the unparalleled richness and flavor of Arabica coffee. As the company continues to brew success, one cup at a time, it serves as a shining example of how passion, vision, and dedication can transform a humble bean into a big sensation.

Finding XY has supported the enterprise in its growth and investment journey under the Women in Agriculture Impact Investment (WAII) Facility that was established with an intent of connecting entrepreneurs to investment opportunities. We are glad to have had the pleasure of working hand in hand with the enterprise.

Women in Agriculture

A story of Innovation and Inspiration : Muhangi Dairy Farm Limited

In the heart of Mbarara among green pastures and scenic farms, stands Muhangi Dairy Farm Limited, a company that has redefined the dairy processing industry through a combination of yoghurt processing, artificial insemination and silage production. Founded over 5 decades ago by the “Muhangi family” as a traditional free range farm with over 300 cows, Muhangi Dairy Farm Ltd began as a a zero grazing farm to rearing high quality cows for milk production for the local community. However, through visionary leadership and a commitment to excellence, the company has since grown into a powerhouse, setting new standards for quality, sustainability, and innovation in the dairy industry.

Founding Principles

Muhangi Dairy Farm Limited was built upon the founding principles of integrity, quality, and community engagement. From the outset, the company’s founders recognized the importance of working closely with local dairy farmers to source the highest quality milk while supporting the rural economy. By forging strong partnerships with suppliers and prioritizing sustainable farming practices, the company has ensured a consistent supply of fresh, premium milk—a cornerstone of its success.

Innovative Product Development

While Muhangi Dairy Farm Limited began as a zero grazing farm, the company’s leadership understood the need to adapt to changing consumer preferences and market trends. Leveraging a spirit of innovation, the Agri-Sme invested in research and development to create a diverse range of innovative dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt, ghee, butter that appeal to modern consumers. From a range of flavored yogurts to cheese, Muhangi Dairy Farm has continuously expanded its product portfolio to meet evolving consumer demands while maintaining its commitment to quality and freshness.

Yoghurt processed and packaged by the Agri-Sme









Sustainable Practices

As consumer awareness of environmental sustainability grew, the agri-Sme undertook proactive steps to minimize its ecological footprint and promote sustainable practices throughout its operations. The company has implemented energy-efficient technologies, optimized packaging materials, and implemented waste reduction initiatives to minimize environmental impact.

Community Engagement

Throughout its journey, Muhangi Dairy Farm Limited has remained deeply rooted in its local community, actively supporting educational initiatives, agricultural fairs, and community events. The company has forged strong partnerships with Dairy coo-operatives, farmers to whom it buys milk from and provides training on dairy farming practices.

Recognizing the immense potential within the SME, Finding XY on-boarded Muhangi Dairy Farm Limited into the Women in Agriculture Impact Investment (WAII) Facility, an enterprise support program that has supported its growth journey from providing business advisory to hand-holding the company throughout its investment and fundraising journey. This initiative embodies a collaborative spirit, acknowledging that businesses like Muhangi Dairy Farm Limited exemplify transformative power of vision and innovation and therefore, should be supported.

Women in Agriculture


In the lush fields of Kasese District, where the golden grains of rice sway in the gentle breeze, one company stands out as a beacon of innovation and excellence in rice processing: God’s Care Rice Processors Limited. Established in 2015 in the heart of Mubuku 2 irrigation scheme, God’s Care Rice Processor’s Limited has grown from a small operation into a recognized company in rice processing and export, revolutionizing the industry with its commitment to quality, sustainability, and community development.

Roots of Resilience

God’s Care Rice Processor’s Limited’s journey began with humble roots, as a modest rice growing enterprise operated by a passionate woman determined to elevate the quality of their produce and improve the livelihoods of their community. Faced with the challenges of fluctuating market prices and outdated processing methods, the Jozonia Mbambu, the founder of God’s Care Rice Processor’s Limited saw an opportunity to transform the rice industry by implementing innovative technologies and sustainable practices, thereby expanding the business to produce both white and brown rice and supply rice brand.

Innovative Processing Techniques

Driven by a spirit of innovation, God’s Care Rice Processor’s Limited invested in state-of-the-art processing equipment and modernized techniques such as a rice hurling machine to ensure the highest standards of quality and efficiency. From precision hurling and sorting to advanced packaging and storage solutions, the company’s commitment to excellence permeated every aspect of its operations, resulting in rice products that consistently exceeded customer expectations in terms of purity, aroma, and taste.

Sustainable Agriculture

Recognizing the importance of environmental sustainability, God’s Care Rice Processor’s Limited partnered with local farmers to promote eco-friendly agricultural practices that enhance soil health, conserve water resources, and minimize chemical usage. Through initiatives such as integrated pest management, crop rotation, and organic fertilization, God’s Care Rice Processors Limited not only improved the quality of its rice but also reduced its ecological footprint, boosting sustainability.

Empowering Communities

As God’s Care Rice Processor’s Limited grew and continues to grow, so has its commitment to social responsibility and community development. The company reinvested a portion of its profits into initiatives aimed at improving the welfare of local farmers and their families, including providing financial support in form of small loans to the farmers it works with, buying their rice. By empowering communities to thrive, God’s Care Rice Processor’s Limited not only secured a stable supply of high-quality rice but also fostered long-term partnerships built on trust, respect, and mutual prosperity.

“We start with the farmers from the initial stage of growing the rice, give them business advisory services, trainings and financial support which helps them to boost their business and also support them with transportation during the harvest season from the garden to the factory,” Mbambu narrated.

Harvesting Success

Today, God’s Care Rice Processor’s Limited stands as a shining example of how innovation, sustainability, and community engagement can drive success in any industry. From its humble beginnings in the fields, God’s Care Rice Processor’s Limited has remained true to its founding principles of quality, integrity, and social responsibility. As the company continues to sow the seeds of success, it serves as an inspiration to the industry and a testament to the power of perseverance, innovation, and collaboration in achieving greatness.

“Initially, we could grow the rice and fail to get market for it so it appeared to me that starting the enterprise, I would be able to create market for the farmers and indeed it is what we have done. We buy the rice from the farmers, hurl it thereby solving the market problem,” Mbambu said.

The enterprise joined the Women in Agriculture Impact Investment (WAII) Facility in 2022 and has since been one of the top companies to close deals under the project. The commitment and resilience exhibited by its founder has been an inspiration to witness and Finding XY is pleasured to have hand-held God’s Care Rice Processors Limited throughout its investment journey.

Women in Agriculture

THRIVING AGAINST THE ODDS: The Resilient Journey of Wiseman Business Farm.

In an environment where statistics often overshadow the gradual business undertakings ,the untold stories of perseverance and resilience often slip through the cracks. Surveys reveal that 60% of new businesses fail within three years, with 20% going under within 1 year, and only 42.5% surviving their fifth year. Amidst this challenging backdrop, the story of Wiseman Business Farm emerges as a testament to the unwavering spirit of entrepreneurship.

In 2018, Wiseman Business Farm sprouted as an Agri-Sme with diverse business projects including fish farming, maize cultivation, coffee farming, piggery, rice farming, and the cultivation of fruits and vegetables. The initial vision was ambitious, but as with any venture, upsides and downsides are a part of the business equation.

Wiseman Banana plantation





Navigating Challenges with Grit

The fish farming project, initially the farm’s cash cow, faced setbacks due to pond vandalization and uncontrolled fishing by the local community. The business worked tirelessly to revamp its rice project, only their efforts to be met with an unexpected hurdle when avian interference led to the loss of the entire 4-acre harvest in a single day. These hurdles, though disheartening served as catalysts for building resilience.

“I thought we were finished, with such a huge investment in the rice and fish projects, I thought there was no coming back” Frank Mugweri, Founder of Wiseman Business Farm.

A Ray of Hope

Drawing lessons from adversity, Wiseman Business Farm strategically embraced specialization as the cornerstone of sustainability. This led to the inception of the Passion Fruit Project a strategic initiative with the goal of expanding from the existing 4 acres to substantial 16 acres. The business remains optimistic about the future returns of this endeavor and is actively exploring potential local and regional markets.

As Wiseman Business Farm charts its course forward, several milestones are on the horizon. With an initial investment need of USD 50,000, the business intends to extend irrigation across the entire farm, value addition to passion fruit production, implement a robust accounting system, and enhance business visibility.

External Support

Recognizing the potential, Finding XY on boarded the business into an enterprise support program focused on refining the business model and making it investment-ready. It’s a collaborative effort, acknowledging that it’s businesses like Wiseman Business Farm that often require the most support to achieve sustainability. To us, the narrative of Wiseman Business Farm underscores the power of resilience, adaptation, and the unwavering spirit of entrepreneurs.

“Agriculturalists like us don’t always have all the know-how when it comes to the best management practices and business strategies. Having partners to guide us in building our skills and making smart investments is always an opportunity we appreciate.” Frank Mugweri, Founder of Wiseman Business Farm.

Women in Agriculture


Apple farming is the cultivation of apple trees for the production of apples, which are one of the most widely consumed fruits worldwide. Apples are not only delicious but also rich in essential nutrients and fiber, making them popular in various culinary uses and as a healthy snack.

The Apple farming industry in Uganda is a niche sector that is gradually emerging and gaining attention. While Uganda is predominantly known for its coffee and tea production, some farmers have started cultivating apple orchards in certain regions of the country. Apple Farming in Uganda is limited to areas with specific climatic conditions such as the highland regions of Kabale, Kisoro and parts of the western region which offer suitable temperatures and altitude for apple cultivation.

Farmers in Uganda primarily grow apple varieties such as the Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, and Granny Smith. These varieties are chosen mostly for their adaptability to the local climate and their market demand which, although is relatively small in the local market as they are mainly consumed by the middle and upper-income segments, hotels and restaurants, it is steadily growing and also shows a potential export market, particularly to the neighboring countries in East Africa.

The history of apple farming dates back thousands of years, originating in the region of modern-day Kazakhstan and spreading to various parts of the world over time. The wild ancestor of the cultivated apple known as Malus Sieversii is native to the mountainous regions of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and China. These wild apples were smaller in size and had a more tart taste. In ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece AND Rome, apples were highly valued and associated with beauty, love, abundance and often depicted in mythology and Folklore.

In the 17th & 18th centuries, European settlers brought apple seeds and cuttings to North America where apple orchards were established and their cultivation thrived in the regions with suitable climates. : In the 19th and 20th centuries, apple breeding programs were established to develop improved varieties with desired traits such as taste, texture, disease resistance, and shelf life. This led to the creation of popular apple cultivars like the Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, and many others. Apple farming became a significant commercial industry in the 20th century with large-scale orchards established in countries like the United States, India, Poland and Italy; these countries are among the top apple producers worldwide.

Today, apple farming is a thriving global industry, with a wide variety of apple cultivars grown in different regions and apples are one of the most widely consumed and economically important fruits worldwide, with diverse uses ranging from fresh consumption to juicing, baking, and cider production. The apple farming industry has benefited from advancements in cultivation techniques, pest and disease control, post-harvest storage, and transportation. Modern technologies like genetic research, precision agriculture, and improved storage facilities have further enhanced productivity and quality.

The demand for apples in Uganda’s local market is relatively small but growing, primarily driven by the middle and upper-income segments of the population. The demand for apples is higher in urban areas, especially among consumers who have been exposed to international food trends and preferences. The local market for apples is primarily fueled by the following factors:

  1. Changing Consumer Preferences: With increasing urbanization and globalization, consumer preferences in Uganda have been evolving. There is a growing demand for a wider variety of fruits, including apples, as consumers seek to diversify their diets and incorporate healthier options.
  2. Perception of Prestige and Status: Apples are often associated with prestige and are perceived as high-quality fruits. As a result, they are favored by consumers who can afford to pay a premium for such products, which further drives the demand among the middle and upper-income segments.
  3. Tourism and Hospitality Sector: The tourism and hospitality industry in Uganda plays a role in the demand for apples. Hotels, resorts, restaurants, and catering services catering to both domestic and international tourists often include apples in their menus, creating a demand for a consistent supply of the fruit.

Regarding the potential for apple export from Uganda, there is some opportunity for regional export to neighboring countries in East Africa. Uganda can leverage its proximity and transport links to countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, it’s important to consider several factors that can influence export potential:

  1. Quality and Consistency: To successfully penetrate export markets, Ugandan apple growers must ensure consistent quality and adherence to international standards in terms of size, appearance, taste, and post-harvest handling practices. Meeting these requirements is crucial to compete with established apple-producing countries.
  2. Competitive Pricing: Uganda would need to maintain competitive pricing to attract buyers in export markets, considering factors such as transportation costs, import regulations, and competition from other apple-producing regions.
  3. Infrastructure and Logistics: Adequate post-harvest infrastructure, cold storage facilities, and efficient transport networks are vital to maintain the quality of apples during export. Investment in logistics and infrastructure would be necessary to support an export-oriented apple industry.
  4. Market Access and Trade Agreements: Access to regional and international markets can be facilitated through trade agreements and partnerships. Uganda could explore trade agreements that enable preferential treatment and reduced tariffs for apple exports to target markets.

While the potential for apple export exists, it would require concerted efforts from farmers, government agencies, and stakeholders to develop the necessary infrastructure, enhance production capabilities, and establish market linkages to fully realize the export potential of Ugandan apples.

Does Apple farming really work in Uganda?

Yes, apple farming can be successful in Uganda under certain conditions. Uganda has a diverse climate, with varying agro-ecological zones, which makes it suitable for growing a wide range of crops, including apples.

Uganda, with its favorable climate and diverse agricultural regions, has been successful in cultivating various apple varieties that adapt well to local conditions. While the country’s apple production is relatively small compared to traditional apple-growing regions, such as Europe and North America, Ugandan farmers have achieved notable success in growing specific apple varieties. Here are some apple varieties that have thrived in Uganda:

  1. Uganda Green (also known as Ugandan Green): This apple variety is indigenous to Uganda and has been cultivated for many years. It is well-suited to the country’s tropical climate, as it is tolerant of high temperatures and humidity. Uganda Green apples have a vibrant green skin and a crisp, juicy flesh. They are primarily used for fresh consumption and are known for their slightly sweet and tangy flavor.
  • Anna: Anna apples are widely grown in Uganda due to their adaptability to warm climates. They are a medium-sized apple with a pale yellow-green skin and a sweet, slightly tart taste. This variety is valued for its early maturity and the ability to produce good yields even in areas with relatively low chilling hours.
  • Dorsett Golden: Similar to Anna, Dorsett Golden is another apple variety that has found success in Uganda’s warmer regions. It is a high-quality dessert apple with a golden-yellow skin and a sweet, crisp flesh. Dorsett Golden apples are early to mature and have a relatively low chilling requirement, making them suitable for cultivation in areas with limited cold periods.
  • Tropic Sweet (also known as Sundowner): Tropic Sweet is a popular apple variety in Uganda, particularly in the eastern and central regions. It is well-adapted to the country’s tropical climate and exhibits good resistance to diseases. Tropic Sweet apples have a red or pink blush over a greenish-yellow background, and they offer a sweet and juicy flavor.
  • Pink Lady: Pink Lady, a well-known apple variety worldwide, has shown promise in Ugandan orchards. While it requires slightly more chilling hours compared to some other varieties, Pink Lady has been successfully grown in cooler regions of the country. These apples have a distinctive pink or red skin color, and their crisp, tart-sweet flavor makes them popular for both eating fresh and cooking.

Although these varieties have exhibited potential in thriving in Uganda’s ever-changing climatic conditions, there are still a few factors to consider when it comes to apple farming in Uganda. These include:

1. Climate: Apple trees generally require a cool or temperate climate to thrive. Most apple varieties prefer a cold winter season and a certain number of chilling hours to produce high-quality fruit. While Uganda’s climate is generally tropical, there are certain areas with higher elevations and cooler temperatures, such as parts of the Rwenzori Mountains, Mount Elgon, and the Kigezi Highlands, where apple farming can be more feasible.

2. Variety selection: It is essential to select apple varieties that are suited to the specific climate and conditions of Uganda. Some apple cultivars have been bred to tolerate warmer climates and require fewer chilling hours. By choosing suitable varieties, farmers can increase their chances of success.

3. Soil and site selection: Apple trees prefer well-drained soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Conducting a soil test is crucial to determine the soil’s fertility and nutrient composition. Additionally, selecting the right site with good air circulation, protection from strong winds, and adequate sunlight is essential for apple farming.

4. Irrigation: In regions where rainfall is insufficient, providing irrigation is crucial for apple trees. Proper water management, especially during the flowering and fruit development stages, is essential for good yields and fruit quality.

5. Pest and disease management: Apples are susceptible to various pests and diseases. It is important to implement proper pest and disease management strategies to protect the apple trees from common issues like apple scab, codling moth, aphids, and powdery mildew. Regular monitoring, use of appropriate pesticides, and practicing good orchard hygiene are important for successful apple farming.

6. Market demand and value chain: Before starting apple farming, it is important to assess the market demand for apples in the specific region of Uganda. Apples may not have the same level of demand as other fruits like bananas or mangoes, which are more commonly grown in Uganda. Understanding the market dynamics and ensuring a reliable market for the produce is essential. Apples can be sold through various channels, including wholesale markets, supermarkets, farmers’ markets, or directly to consumers. Developing marketing strategies, understanding consumer preferences, and establishing relationships with buyers are important for successful apple sales. Value-added products like apple juice, cider, or apple-based snacks can also be produced to diversify the product range.

7. Harvesting and Storage: Apples are usually harvested when they reach their mature stage, which is determined based on factors like color, firmness, and sugar content. Harvesting methods vary depending on the size of the orchard and the variety. After harvesting, apples are stored in controlled environments with specific temperature and humidity conditions to extend their shelf life.

8. Challenges and Considerations: Apple farming is not without challenges. Pest and disease management, including issues like apple scab, codling moth, and fire blight, requires diligent monitoring and appropriate control measures. Climate variability, extreme weather events, and changing market demands are other factors that farmers need to consider.

While apple farming in Uganda can be challenging due to the tropical climate, with the right variety selection, site preparation, and management practices, it is possible to cultivate apples successfully in specific regions of the country. It is advisable to consult local agricultural experts, extension services, or experienced farmers who have already undertaken apple farming in Uganda to gain more specific insights and guidance based on the local conditions.

How best can farmers in Uganda leverage the available resources to apple farming?

Farmers in the apple farming industry in Uganda can explore several government support and initiatives to enhance their operations. Here are some relevant programs and support mechanisms:

  1. National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS): NAADS is a government program aimed at improving agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale farmers. Through NAADS, farmers can access agricultural extension services, including training, technical guidance, and advice on apple farming techniques, pest and disease management, and post-harvest handling.
  2. Agricultural Credit Facility (ACF): The Agricultural Credit Facility is a government initiative that provides affordable credit to farmers, including those in the apple farming sector. Farmers can apply for loans to invest in apple orchard establishment, expansion, and modernization. The ACF offers loans at lower interest rates, longer repayment periods, and flexible collateral requirements.
  3. Agricultural Insurance: The government, in collaboration with insurance companies, has introduced agricultural insurance schemes to protect farmers against risks such as crop failure due to adverse weather conditions, pests, or diseases. Apple farmers can explore crop insurance options to safeguard their investments and mitigate potential losses.
  4. Irrigation Development: The government has initiated programs to promote irrigation infrastructure development across the country. Farmers can access support and resources to establish irrigation systems in their apple orchards, enabling them to manage water availability and enhance productivity, especially in regions with limited rainfall.
  5. Research and Development Support: The government, through institutions such as the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), supports research and development in agriculture. Farmers in the apple farming industry can benefit from research findings, improved apple varieties, and innovative techniques developed through government-funded research projects.
  6. Market Access and Value Chain Development: The government promotes market linkages and value addition for agricultural products, including apples. Farmers can explore government-supported programs that enhance market access, provide market information, facilitate value chain development, and support the establishment of processing facilities for apple products.
  7. Farmer Training and Capacity Building: Various government agencies and institutions conduct training programs, workshops, and demonstrations to enhance the knowledge and skills of farmers. These initiatives focus on improved apple farming practices, post-harvest management, marketing strategies, and entrepreneurship. Farmers can participate in these training programs to expand their capabilities and stay updated on the latest industry practices.

It’s important for farmers to engage with relevant government departments, agricultural extension officers, and farmer organizations to learn about available support, initiatives, and funding opportunities specific to their region or district. Regularly checking government websites, attending agricultural expos, and networking with other farmers can also provide valuable information about government support programs in the apple farming industry.
By leveraging these available resources and adopting best practices, farmers in Uganda can increase their chances of success in apple farming. However, it is important to note that local conditions may vary, and specific recommendations may depend on the agro-ecological zone and individual circumstances.

In conclusion, apple farming in Uganda presents both opportunities and challenges. While Uganda’s tropical climate poses a significant hurdle, farmers can leverage suitable regions with cooler temperatures and higher elevations, such as the Kigezi Highlands and Mount Elgon, to cultivate apples. Selection of apple varieties adapted to the local climate is crucial, along with implementing effective orchard management practices, including pruning, fertilization, irrigation, and pest and disease management.

However, it is important to acknowledge the challenges faced by apple farmers in Uganda, such as limited availability of suitable varieties, pest and disease pressure, limited access to resources and infrastructure, and market demand constraints. Addressing these challenges requires collective efforts from farmers, government institutions, research organizations, and development agencies to support research and development, provide training and extension services, improve access to inputs and financial resources, and foster market linkages.

By adopting appropriate strategies, staying updated with advancements in apple farming techniques, and embracing climate-smart agricultural practices, farmers in Uganda can increase their chances of success in apple farming. With perseverance, continuous learning, and adaptive approaches, apple farming in Uganda can contribute to agricultural diversification, enhance income opportunities, and contribute to the overall development of the agricultural sector in the country.

Women in Agriculture


Macadamia trees are medium-sized evergreen trees that belong to the family Proteaceae. They are native to the rainforests of Australia, specifically the eastern coastal regions of Queensland and New South Wales. Macadamia trees are primarily cultivated for their delicious and nutritious nuts, known as macadamia nuts.

Here are some key points about macadamia trees:

Appearance: Macadamia trees typically reach a height of 15 to 40 feet (4.5 to 12 meters) when fully mature. They have dense foliage, with glossy, leathery leaves that are usually lance-shaped and arranged in an alternate pattern along the branches. The trees produce small, fragrant flowers that range in color from creamy white to pale pink or purple.

Nut Production: The primary reason for cultivating macadamia trees is their nuts, which are highly valued for their rich, buttery flavor and nutritional content. Macadamia nuts are round to oval in shape, covered by a hard, woody shell. Inside the shell, there is a thick, creamy-white kernel that is edible and prized for its taste and texture. The nuts mature and are ready for harvest after approximately 6 to 7 months from flowering.

Varieties: There are several commercially cultivated varieties of macadamia trees, including the most common species, Macadamia integrifolia, and its close relative, Macadamia tetraphylla. Macadamia integrifolia produces nuts with a smooth shell, while Macadamia tetraphyllaA yields nuts with a rougher, four-segmented shell. Different varieties may have slightly different growth habits and nut characteristics.

Growing Conditions: Macadamia trees thrive in subtropical to tropical climates. They require a frost-free environment, with average temperatures ranging between 65 to 80°F (18 to 27°C). These trees prefer well-drained, acidic to slightly alkaline soils. Adequate rainfall or irrigation is necessary for optimal growth, typically around 40 to 80 inches (1,000 to 2,000 mm) annually. However, macadamia trees can be sensitive to excessive moisture, so proper drainage is important.

Cultivation and Maintenance: Macadamia trees are typically propagated from seeds or grafted cuttings. They are usually planted in rows or orchards, with spacing between trees to allow for their mature size. Regular pruning is essential to maintain tree shape, promote airflow, and facilitate harvesting. Macadamia trees may take several years to reach full nut production, with optimal yields achieved between 7 to 12 years after planting.

Economic Importance: Macadamia nuts are highly valued in the culinary industry for their rich, creamy flavor and versatility in various dishes, including confections, baked goods, and savory recipes. They are also a popular snack enjoyed worldwide. The cultivation of macadamia trees has significant economic importance, particularly in countries such as Australia, Hawaii, South Africa, and Kenya, where macadamia production is a major industry.

Nutritional Value: Macadamia nuts are nutrient-dense, containing healthy fats, dietary fiber, and essential minerals such as magnesium, copper, and manganese. They are also a good source of monounsaturated fats, which can have beneficial effects on heart health. However, it’s important to consume macadamia nuts in moderation due to their high calorie content.

Overall, macadamia trees are prized for their delicious nuts and are cultivated in various parts of the world for commercial production. Their attractive appearance and culinary appeal make them a sought-after tree both in orchards and home gardens.

When integrated strategically, Macadamia trees present a multitude of benefits for coffee farmers in Uganda.

  1. Shade and Microclimate Regulation: Macadamia trees provide essential shade for coffee plants, shielding them from excessive sunlight and extreme temperatures. This creates a more favorable microclimate for coffee growth, while also reducing weed growth and soil erosion.
  • Nitrogen Fixation: Macadamia trees possess the remarkable ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen through a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria in their root nodules. This process converts atmospheric nitrogen into a form that can be used by plants. This process enriches the soil with usable nitrogen, enhancing fertility and reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers.
  • Soil Conservation: The extensive root systems of macadamia trees improve soil structure and prevent erosion, and stabilize the coffee-growing environment. This is particularly beneficial in hilly or sloping coffee-growing areas.
  • Biomass and Organic Matter: Macadamia trees generate a significant amount of biomass and leaf litter, which can be utilized as mulch or organic matter for the coffee plantation. Mulching with macadamia leaves and branches helps retain moisture, suppress weed growth, and enrich the soil with nutrients and organic material.
  • Agroforestry Systems: By implementing agroforestry systems that combine coffee cultivation with the planting of macadamia trees, farmers can reap the benefits of both crops. This practice promotes biodiversity, provides additional income sources, and fosters a more sustainable farming system.
  • Biodiversity and Pest Control: Macadamia trees attract beneficial insects, birds, and wildlife which help control pests that may otherwise harm coffee plants. Additionally, certain macadamia tree species even emit natural compounds that repel pests like nematodes, which can be detrimental to coffee crops.
  • Additional Income Streams: Macadamia trees offer additional income opportunities for coffee farmers. They can be harvested for timber, firewood, or charcoal production or extraction of valuable gums and resins. Diversifying income sources contributes to long-term sustainability.
  • Windbreaks and Erosion Control: Macadamia trees act as windbreaks, reducing the impact of strong winds on coffee plants. Their extensive root systems also prevent soil erosion, safeguarding valuable topsoil during heavy rains.

While macadamia trees offer numerous advantages for coffee growing, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks as well.

By implementing appropriate management strategies, coffee farmers can effectively overcome them and maximize the benefits of integrating macadamia trees into their coffee-growing systems. Local knowledge, scientific research, and collaboration with agricultural experts can provide valuable guidance for successful implementation.  To fully leverage the benefits of macadamia trees, coffee farmers in Uganda can consider the following practices:

  1. Competition for Resources: Macadamia trees, with their extensive root systems, have the potential to compete with coffee plants for vital resources like water, nutrients, and sunlight. This competition can adversely impact the growth and productivity of coffee crops.
  • To mitigate this challenge, farmers should carefully plan the spacing between the macadamia trees and coffee plants. Consideration should be given to selecting smaller or less competitive macadamia species that have narrower canopies or slower growth rates
  • Allelopathy: Certain macadamia species release chemical compounds that can inhibit the growth of other plants, including coffee. This phenomenon is known as allelopathy.

It’s advisable to choose macadamia species that are less allelopathic or plant them at a distance from the coffee plants. Regular monitoring of plant growth and health can enable negative impact identification and allow farmers to take appropriate measures.

  • Maintenance and Pruning: Macadamia trees require regular maintenance and pruning to ensure optimal growth and prevent over-shading of coffee plants. Without proper management, the macadamia trees may densely populate reducing sunlight penetration to the coffee crop.

Farmers should allocate time and resources for regular pruning of the macadamia trees to maintain an appropriate level of shade and prevent excessive light competition.

  • Species Selection: The choice of macadamia species is crucial for successful integration into coffee farming. Certain macadamia species may exhibit aggressive growth habits, invasiveness, or susceptibility to pests and diseases.

It is important to select macadamia species that are well-suited to the local climate, soil conditions, and have a track record of successful integration with coffee crops. Consulting with local agricultural extension services or experts can help farmers make informed decisions about species selection.

  • Long-Term Planning: Macadamia trees are long-lived and can persist in coffee plantations for several decades. Therefore, it is essential to consider long-term planning when integrating macadamia trees. Farmers should evaluate the potential impact of macadamia trees on the coffee crop over time, considering factors such as changing coffee varieties, market demands, and evolving climate conditions.

Regular assessment and adaptive management practices can help farmers address any emerging challenges and make adjustments as required.

It’s crucial to recognize that each coffee farm is unique, and the specific recommendations may vary depending on the local context. Therefore, consulting with local agricultural experts who possess knowledge and experience in coffee cultivation and agroforestry practices in your region is of utmost importance.

In conclusion, macadamia trees can serve as a valuable asset in coffee farming systems, providing numerous benefits when integrated thoughtfully. These trees offer shade and regulate microclimate, facilitate nitrogen fixation, contribute to soil conservation, generate biomass and organic matter production, and aid in pest control. By strategically incorporating macadamia trees, coffee farmers in Uganda and other regions can enhance productivity, improve soil fertility, and promote sustainable farming practices.

However, it is crucial to acknowledge the potential challenges and drawbacks associated with using macadamia trees. These include resource competition, allelopathy, maintenance requirements, species selection, and long-term planning. By considering these factors and implementing appropriate management strategies, coffee farmers can overcome the disadvantages and optimize the advantages of macadamia tree integration.

Overall, macadamia trees offer a sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to coffee farming, making significant contributions to biodiversity conservation, soil health, and ecosystem resilience. By harnessing the benefits of these trees, coffee farmers in Uganda and beyond can enhance productivity while promoting the long-term sustainability of their agricultural practices. 

Women in Agriculture


How can Agri-SMEs engage in International Trade?

International trade refers to the exchange of goods and services between countries. It involves importing and exporting goods and services across borders, typically for economic gain. International trade can take place through various channels, including trade agreements, multinational corporations, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Engagement in International trade is one of the ways Agri-SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in Uganda can increase profitability, efficiency, and diversity. International trade presents a variety of benefits to SMEs and the economy at large. SMEs can thus engage in international trade and expand their customer base beyond the domestic market by following these steps:

  1. Identify exportable products: The first step is to identify the products that can be exported to other countries. Agri-SMEs should focus on products that have high demand in international markets, such as coffee, tea, spices, fruits, vegetables, and other value-added products or high-value crops.
  • Conduct market research: The second step is to conduct market research to identify potential buyers and markets. It’s crucial to conduct market research to identify potential buyers and markets that are not only convenient but also profitable. This includes researching market trends, consumer preferences, and the regulatory environment in the target markets. Agri-SMEs can also work with government trade promotion agencies to access market intelligence and identify potential buyers and markets. Agri-SMEs can equally use online resources, attend trade shows and conferences, and work with trade associations or agents to identify potential buyers and markets.
  • Meet regulatory requirements: Regulatory requirements for exporting agricultural products can be complex and vary depending on the destination market. Agri-SMEs should work closely with government agencies responsible for export regulations to ensure compliance with regulations, including food safety, licensing and labeling requirements.
  • Develop a marketing plan: Agri-SMEs should develop a marketing plan to promote their products in international markets. This may be in form of developing a website, participating in trade shows, and working with export agents and brokers. Developing a marketing plan is crucial for any Agri-SME to successfully promote its products in international markets. This should include understanding the target market, developing a strong brand, and identifying the best marketing channels to reach potential buyers.
  • Build relationships with buyers: Building relationships with buyers is critical for successful international trade. Agri-SMEs should focus on building long-term relationships with buyers, understanding their needs and preferences, and offering high-quality products and excellent customer service. They can build the relationships by being proactive in reaching out to potential buyers, attending trade fairs, and leveraging government-supported business matching programs. Maintaining communication and being responsive to the needs of the buyers are also essential.                                               
  • Secure financing: International trade can be costly, and Agri-SMEs may require significant investment in equipment, transportation, marketing and exportation of their products. Agri-SMEs can access financing from government and private sector sources to support their export activities. They can also work with banks and other financial institutions to secure financing to support the smooth running of the processes.
  • Monitor and evaluate performance: Agri-SMEs should regularly monitor and evaluate their performance in international trade. This may include tracking sales, analyzing customer feedback, regularly reviewing and updating their marketing plan and evaluating the effectiveness of marketing activities.

Why is it Important for Agri-SMEs to engage in International Trade?

For Agri-SMEs, engaging in international trade can bring several benefits. Here are some of the key reasons why international trade is important for Agri-SMEs:

  1. Access to new markets: By exporting their products to new markets, Agri-SMEs can expand their customer base beyond the domestic market. This can increase sales and revenue and provide opportunities for growth.
  • Diversification: Engaging in international trade allows Agri-SMEs to diversify their customer base, which can help mitigate risks associated with dependence on a single market.
  • Improved competitiveness: International trade can help Agri-SMEs improve their competitiveness by exposing them to new ideas, technologies, and best practices. This can help them improve their products, processes, and overall business operations.
  • Increased profitability: Engaging in international trade can increase profitability for Agri-SMEs by allowing them to take advantage of economies of scale, reduce production costs, and increase revenues.
  • Job creation: International trade can create new job opportunities for Agri-SMEs by increasing demand for their products and services. This can help stimulate economic growth and development.

In conclusion, International Trade is an essential component of the global economy, and it offers many benefits for Agri-SMEs, including access to new markets, diversification, improved competitiveness, increased profitability, and job creation. Engaging in international trade can be a challenging but rewarding opportunity for Agri-SMEs in Uganda. By developing a well-thought-out export strategy and building strong relationships with buyers, Agri-SMEs can access new markets and grow their business beyond the domestic market.

This explains why Finding XY is engaging in export promotion exercises for SMEs under the Women in Agriculture Impact Investment Facility.

Women in Agriculture


Introduction and overview

Soybean is a versatile and highly nutritious crop thus very important for the agricultural industry and has gained popularity in Uganda. Soybean is an economically viable and environmentally friendly crop that is a key raw material for vegetable oil, feeds, and food.  It promotes sustainable cropping systems by improving soil fertility through the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen and also disrupts the life cycle of several pests and diseases.

It is encouraged as a rotation crop to improve productivity of other crops being grown (Tukamuhabwa and Obua,2015). Its dense canopy helps to conserve soil water moisture and suppress weeds in the soybean field. Its extensive root network maintains the soil structure and promotes infiltration, crucial for absorption of water and nutrients.

In this report, we will examine the current state of soybean value chain in Uganda as well as its opportunities and challenges.


Soybean was first introduced to Uganda in the 1980s as a crop that could improve soil fertility and provide a protein-rich food source. The soybean plant is a hardy and resilient crop that can thrive in various soil types and climatic conditions.

Uganda is well-suited for soybean production due to its favorable climate and fertile soil. Soybean cultivation in Uganda is carried out by both small-scale farmers and large commercial farmers. 

Over the years, soybean has become an important crop in Uganda, especially for small-scale farmers who use it for both food and income.

   Current state

Today, soybean is grown in various regions of Uganda, including the northern, eastern, central and western regions. The crop is usually grown in the rainy season, between March and May, and harvested in August or September. The majority of farmers grow soybean on small plots of land and use traditional methods of cultivation.

Small-scale farmers typically use traditional techniques and hand-held tools, while commercial farmers use modern equipment and technologies to optimize production.

The season of harvesting of Soybean depends on the time of sowing and the variety grown. For each farmer, how long harvest takes depends on how many acres they farm, how many people they have helping out, the size of their equipment and how many combines, tractors and semis they have running.

Presently, Soybean has a wide range of uses and here are some of the common uses:

  • Used as food. Soybean is used to make a variety of food products, including tofu, soy milk, tempeh, miso, soy sauce, and textured vegetable protein (TVP). Soybean oil is also a popular cooking oil and is used in many processed food products.
  • Used as animal feed. Soybean is a primary ingredient in animal feed for livestock, poultry, and aquaculture.
  • Used to make industrial products: Soybean is used to produce a variety of industrial products, such as biodiesel, plastics, adhesives, and lubricants.
  • Health supplement production. Soybean is used to produce health supplements, such as soy protein powders and is flavone supplements, which are popular among athletes and health-conscious consumers.
  • Soil improvement. Soybean is a nitrogen-fixing crop, which means it can add nitrogen to the soil, improving soil fertility and reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers.

According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, soybean is grown in various regions of the country, with the highest acreage in the central and eastern regions.

Soya bean is the number one income earner crop in Northern and Eastern Uganda. Farmers earn approximately UGX 1,200,000 per hectare per season.

Challenges of the Soybean Value chain in Uganda

Despite the positive trends in soybean production in Uganda, there are several challenges facing the soybean seed growing system and soybean production in Uganda. These include:

  • Counterfeit seed on the market. This is worsened by Pests and diseases and the breakdown of crop resistance. Good quality seed is quite expensive for farmers to afford.
  • Weak policy enforcement which would otherwise improve the value chain performance.
  • Climate change. This includes unpredictable weather conditions, such as droughts, floods, and extreme temperatures, which makes yield forecast hard for farmers as well as breeders of seed on a research level.
  • Labor inefficiency in the production chain during planting, weeding, and harvesting, which reduces yield quality.
  • Dysfunctionality of farmers’ groups and marketing activities.
  • Price fluctuations. Soybean prices are highly volatile which undermines planning and usually shifts the customer’s attention away from the product’s features to its price. 

Soybean prices are influenced by global demand and supply factors, such as changes in consumption patterns, trade policies, and production trends in major producing and consuming countries.

  • Transportation costs, such as freight charges for exporters impacts the price of soybean.
  • Storage and handling costs can also impact soybean prices, especially if there are bottlenecks in the


To expand the opportunities for further growth of the soybean value chain, a couple of measures can be undertaken, including:

  • Value addition: Value addition is critical to the success of the soybean value chain. Processors add value to soybeans by producing soybean oil and meal, which are used in a wide range of products, such as food, feed, and biofuels. By adding value to soybeans, processors are able to increase their profitability, curb price fluctuation, and provide a market for farmers.
  • Strengthening of linkages: The soybean value chain demonstrates the importance of linkages between different actors in the value chain. Farmers, processors, traders, and retailers need to work together to ensure that soybeans are produced, processed, and sold in a way that benefits everyone in the value chain.
  • Technology adoption: Technology adoption is critical to the success of the soybean value chain. Soybean farmers need to further adopt new technologies, such as genetically modified seeds, which have led to higher yields and increased profitability.
  • Risk management: The soybean value chain involves a significant amount of risk, including production risks, market risks, and price risks. Farmers and other actors in the value chain need to adopt strategies to manage these risks, such as diversifying their production, using forward contracts, and hedging.
  • Sustainable practices: The soybean value chain has also demonstrated the importance of adopting sustainable practices. Soybean farming can have negative environmental impacts, such as deforestation, but farmers and other actor in the value chain can adopt sustainable practices, such as no-till farming and agroforestry, to reduce these impacts.

Future prospects for the Soybean Value Chain

In recent years, the demand for soybean has increased significantly due to its various uses, including as a source of protein for both human consumption and livestock feed. There are also opportunities for growth in the soybean sector in Uganda. The increasing demand for soybean products, both domestically and internationally, presents a significant opportunity for farmers and companies to increase production and improve their livelihoods.

Additionally, the potential for value addition, such as processing soybean into soy flour, soybean milk, yogurt, oil, etc. could also help to increase the profitability of the crop.

The country has experienced rapid growth in soybean cultivation in recent years, with the government actively promoting its production as a way to increase food security and economic growth.

In order to increase the productivity and profitability of soybean farming in Uganda, the government and other organizations are working to provide farmers with access to improved seeds, fertilizer, and other inputs. Additionally, efforts are being made to enhance the capacity of farmers to better manage their farms, including the provision of training and extension services.

In conclusion, soybean is a promising crop for Uganda due to its high nutritional value and numerous uses. Uganda has made significant progress in growing and promoting the crop, and there is potential for further growth in the sector with continued support and investment.

Women in Agriculture


A small-scale business can be defined as a privately owned and operated company that has relatively low sales volume, fewer employees, and a smaller physical presence than larger companies. Small-scale businesses are generally classified as having fewer than 500 employees, and they may operate in a single location or multiple locations.

Small-scale businesses may offer products or services in a variety of industries, including retail, healthcare, finance, manufacturing and more. These businesses may be run by a sole proprietor, a partnership or a small team of employees.  They often serve local or regional markets, although they may also operate on a national or international scale.

Globally, there are more than 32 million small to medium-sized businesses yet 20% of these businesses close by year one and nearly 50% by year five. The reasons for lower survival rates in small businesses are numerous, but a major component of business failure is stagnation.

Sustainable growth is one of the many goals every entrepreneur has. However, it requires dedication, consistency, research to identify where you need to go including:

  • Knowing your cash flow and areas where you could curb spending.
  • Being connected to your customer base and the social platforms they’re on.
  • Understanding your weakest areas and where to ask for support.

Sustainable growth means constant improvement efforts and being open to trying new things. Quarterly, thorough reviews are a great starting place if you feel out of your element with this startup-like mindset.

1. Organize Your Processes and Workspace

As you get deeper into your business, it literally becomes more cluttered. There may be a lot of things like pending payments, unsorted documents or content. However, your goal to improve business becomes easier when you implement more organization and efficiency. This might take as far as getting rid of clutter, adding relevant team members to platforms e.tc.

2. Revisit Your Finances

To improve your business, you need to know financial numbers like the back of your hand. This includes everything from cash flow to your business’s credit score. Cash flow is a key indicator of growth or early failure, with 46% of small businesses exiting with irregular cash flows.

By revisiting your finances, pay close attention to the accuracy of numbers and determine where you may be spending egregiously. The only way you can identify financial improvements is by knowing your numbers.

3. Connect With Your Community

Do you remember how you vigorously hunted for customers in the early days? Chances are that spark has dimmed over time, and you may have lost contact with customers to focus on other aspects of the business.

Reengaging with your community is a necessary and fulfilling method to enhance business. In fact, 86% of loyal customers will refer others to a business, furthering the community around brands.

4. Connect With Your Employees

Your employees are also influential on your path to improving business. Creating a positive work environment for your team encourages motivation, productivity, and fresh ideas.

Employees seek out workplaces where they feel valued and respected, and you can implement strategies to create spaces for intentional conversation and celebration. This could be

 anything from an open-door policy between you and employees to quarterly team feedback meetings and birthday or holiday greetings.

5. Consider Acquisitions and New Development

A great way to focus on business development is by looking around. Your market is full of inspiration

and insightful data, such as a new niche, a trend, or a competitor. You may pinpoint a struggling business that could be open for a buyout, a potential opportunity to break into a new clientele. You should also aim to diversify your product lines based on the results of your research. This is a great way to keep your business fresh and in the social conversation

6. Know When You Need Support

The final method to improve business may be a hard lesson for some headstrong business owners. But you need to get comfortable knowing when you’re out of your league and ask for guidance.

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