IFPRI Kampala USSP weekly newsletter – week of sept 10, 2018.

Hello, and welcome to a new edition of the IFPR-Kampala’s USSP news and research digest!

As usual, this collection of recent news articles related to agriculture is compiled from online news sources. We also include links to recent publications on agricultural and policy-related research topics pertinent to Uganda and the wider region.

This week, we report on an agricultural success story, and on how to gender inclusivity in video-enabled agricultural extension. We also have news articles on cheesemakers are in Congo and on video-mediated extension in Ethiopia.

Under research, we provide links to:

Note that newsletters are archived on http://ussp.ifpri.info/


An agricultural success story

As the prospect of Uganda reaching middle income status seems to be receding, it might be worthwhile for policy makers to examine the experiences of the dairy sector. Dairy has for long been seen as a static sector, dominated by pastoralists and subsistence farmers. Yet, the sector has in the past few years been catapulted to the forefront of the (agricultural) economy. Two interrelated developments have greatly contributed to this transformation of the dairy sector; the meteoric rise of export of dairy products, and the professionalisation of production.

Tobacco raises more tax money than any other farming activity

Tobacco growing fetched more money in terms of tax than any other activity in the agricultural sector, according to data obtained from Uganda Revenue Authority.  More than Shs18b was collected from tobacco growing out of a combined sector contribution of Shs125b in 2017.

Designing for gender inclusivity in video-enabled agricultural extension

Most extension services assume newly introduced information is freely shared among members within smallholder farm households and tend to ignore the fact that these households are composed of multiple decision-makers, each with their own preferences, capabilities and access to resources.

Regional coffee players target domestic market
New Times

Regional coffee growers, exporters and sector policy makers are turning their focus to domestic consumption, a move they say is intended to cushion them against fluctuations on the international market, which sometimes adversely affects their incomes.

The world’s least blessed cheesemakers are in Congo

Eastern Congo is best known for producing coltan, a mineral used in mobile phones, and refugees. But it also makes rather good cheese. The verdant hills of North Kivu, dotted with Friesian cows and known as “Africa’s Switzerland”, are ideal for caseiculture.

East Africa’s largest coffee shop chain is taking Kenyan tea and coffee to China
Quartz Africa

Java House, east Africa’s largest chain of coffee and dining shops, is taking Kenyan coffee and tea to China.  The company said it signed a distributorship agreement with Shanghai-based Green Chain. Under the deal, Java will sell 10 tons to 15 tons a month of its 375-gram bags of Kenya AA Arabica coffee and Gold Label Tea brands.

When saying ‘see, it works!’ isn’t enough: sharing results from an evaluation of video-mediated extension in Ethiopia

For many researchers at IFPRI, the ultimate aim of our work is to convey findings to an audience that has a stake in the research and is in a position to act on our recommendations. In July, our team had just such an opportunity in Ethiopia when we shared preliminary results from an evaluation of a video-mediated approach to providing agricultural extension services to farmers.

Refusing to be cowed, Somali opens country’s first dairy
East African

Starting a dairy in Mogadishu was not an obvious choice: Islamist bombs go off with startling regularity, electricity is patchy and expensive and most Somalis don’t even drink fresh cow’s milk.

Nespresso help revive Zimbabwean coffee production
Coffee and Cocoa

Nespresso’s investment in Zimbabwe follows similar efforts the company has made to revive coffee production in South Sudan and in former conflict zones of Colombia

The great African regreening: millions of ‘magical’ new trees bring renewal
The Guardian

Rain had come to nearby villages, but not yet to Droum in south-east Niger. The sand under its stately trees looked completely barren, but Souley Cheibou, a farmer in his 60s, was not worried. He crooked a finger, fished in the sand, and brought out a millet seed. In a week or two, this seed would germinate and sprout, and soon the whole field would be green.

Faced with crisis, Arabica producers strengthen ties – issue joint declaration
Coffee and Cocoa

Representatives from the coffee sector in Brazil and Colombia met on 27 August 2018 to discuss the world coffee price crisis and imbalance in the supply chain.  At the meeting at the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply participants discussed action they might take to confront the low-price scenario, which has seen the C price in New York fall below 100 cents, well below the cost of production. This jeopardises the survival of 25 million coffee families worldwide, they said.

Big data for farmers
Indian Express

The scheme, that was introduced in 2015, intended that every farmer receive a health card for their soils that tells them the status of the nutrients in it, and, as a result, guides them about the fertilisers they should apply to maximise their yields. The entire government agriculture extension and research system galvanised itself, collected samples, analysed them for 12 soil chemical parameters, recommended fertiliser dosages and printed these on the SHCs, which were given to farmers. The scheme delivered on the basic promise.

August coffee price fell to 57-month low
Coffee and Cocoa

Coffee prices averaged 102.41 US cents/lb in August 2018, a 20.1 per cent drop compared to August 2017.  The last time the monthly composite indicator price was lower than 102.41 US cents/lb was in November 2013, when it recorded 100.99 US cents/lb.  This decline is linked primarily to market fundamentals, though other factors, such as exchange rate movements and futures markets, are also playing a role.

Research center races to prepare farmers for climate change effects
Food Tank

The Center for the Improvement of the Adaptation to Drought recently earned regional recognition for their efforts to help dry cereal farmers overcome challenges like drought and climate change. The Senegalese research center’s expanded programming includes developing drylands cereals-related technologies for farmers across West and Central Africa, seeking,“to make the technology understandable and accessible to all people,” through testing and knowledge sharing.

Prospect of big Brazilian and Vietnamese crops depresses coffee prices
Coffee and Cocoa

Coffee prices have failed to recover from their lowest levels in several years, primarily as a result of what is expected to be a huge harvest in Brazil and a very large one in Vietnam.  In mid-July, the price for Arabica coffee in New York fell to less than 110 US cents per pound, the lowest levels since December 2013. As of mid-August it was trading even lower, at around 106 cents.

Financing for smallholder farmers has high impact and low margins
Impact Alpha

Some loans perform better than others. Loans in Latin America perform better than those in Africa. Larger loans outperform shorter loans – costs are similar, while revenues grow with size. Shorter term loans do better than longer loans. Loans to existing borrowers outperform loans to new borrowers. Lending into formal coffee and cocoa markets is a better bet than lending in less develop value chains.

2018 Africa Food Prize awarded
Africa Food Prize

The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has been awarded the Africa Food Prize for 2018 at the African Green Revolution Forum in Kigali, Rwanda on September 7, 2018. IITA is the first institution to receive the distinguished award, being recognised for generating solutions on and off the farm that have improved the lives of millions in the face of climate change, a surge of crop pests and disease, and an urgent need for youth employment.

Reports, Discussion Papers and Policy Notes:

Africa Agriculture Trade Monitor 2018

The report examines Africa’s recent performance in different markets and identifies changes in the composition and direction of global, intra-Africa and intra-regional economic community trade in agricultural products. It finds that Africa’s agricultural trade has increased over time, with faster growth in imports contributing to a growing trade deficit. The continent’s agricultural exports tripled in value between 1998 and 2013, while the value of imports increased five-fold, due in part to strong growth in population and incomes and increased food demand.

Extension and advisory services in 10 developing countries: a cross-country analysis
Developing Local Extension Capacity

The report presents results of analysis of ten published diagnostic reports to draw out lessons for extension globally. The country reports include Honduras, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Malawi, Liberia, Guinea, Rwanda, Senegal, Mozambique and Mali.  The report is aimed at project implementers, policymakers and others interested in improving EAS in their countries and projects.

Digitizing Agricultural Payments: Uganda’s Coffee Value Chain

This paper tells the story of how the United Nations Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) team in Uganda worked with exporter Kyagalanyi Coffee Limited (KCL) to digitize one of the country’s most important cash crops: coffee. In addition to addressing the complex dynamics of digitizing agricultural value chains, the paper illustrates how seven organizations from different sectors embarked on a three-year journey to digitize Uganda’s coffee value chain. The solutions they built and lessons they learned have fueled the digitization of several other agricultural value chains in Uganda—particularly, tea, dairy, and maize. Their work helped to build a foundation that enables greater financial inclusion of smallholder farmers by increasing financial participation of farmers, traders, off-takers, and exporters in the formal economy.


Impact pathways of a participatory local governance initiative in Uganda: a qualitative exploration
Bjorn Van Campenhout, Emmanuel Bizimungu, Jennifer Smart & Nassul Kabunga, Development in Practice, 2018.

The baraza project, initiated in 2009, is a government-led initiative in Uganda that aims to increase the quality of public service delivery through the provision of information and involvement of beneficiaries in project monitoring by means of providing citizens with an advocacy forum. This article provides a qualitative assessment of the self-identified pathways through which barazas are thought to influence public service delivery, as expressed by participant stakeholders. It also explores motivating factors behind behavioural changes of stakeholders, hindrances to achieving positive outcomes, and opportunities for the implementation of future barazas.

Does linking farmers to markets work? Evidence from the world food programme’s purchase for progress satellite collection points initiative in Uganda
Kizito, Andrew Muganga and Kato, Edward – African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 2018

Using a non-experimental cross-sectional dataset of 471 households, we evaluate the impacts of satellite collection points (SCPs) under the Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative implemented by the World Food Programme (WFP) on storage decisions and crop income from maize sales among smallholder farmers in Uganda. We find strong evidence that storage users had significantly more maize sales due to significantly larger inventories and received higher maize prices than the nonstorage users. This evidence is robust across the two econometric estimators, consisting of the ordinary least squares (OLS) and two-stage instrumental variable approaches. These results demonstrate that the SCPs are successful in linking farmers to markets and result in improved welfare of the users, suggesting that they should be scaled up and scaled out as a poverty-reducing development intervention and strategy in rural areas with storable agricultural products.

Group membership and certification effects on incomes of coffee farmers in Uganda
Brian Robert Ssebunya, Ulrich B Morawetz, Christian Schader, Matthias Stolze, Erwin Schmid – European Review of Agricultural Economics, 2018

Discrepancies in certification effects on smallholder incomes have been found in scientific literature. Unobserved farmer-group heterogeneity is a likely reason. For the long-standing Robusta coffee farmer-groups in Uganda, we find no significant effect of certification on net-farm income. But, we find 20 percentage point differences in net-farm income between certified and non-certified farmers explained by membership duration. In contrast, the recently founded certified Arabica coffee farmer-groups have positive net-farm income effects of 151 per cent, partly explained by a higher degree of vertical integration. With or without certification, long-standing group membership is found to have positive income effects.

Grain today, gain tomorrow: Evidence from a storage experiment with savings clubs in Kenya
Shilpa Aggarwal, Eilin Francis, Jonathan Robinson, Journal of Development Economics, 2018.

Many farmers in the developing world lack access to effective savings and storage devices. Such devices might be particularly valuable for farmers since income is received as a lump sum at harvest but expenditures are incurred throughout the year, and because grain prices are low at harvest but rise over the year. We experimentally provided two saving schemes to 132 ROSCAs in Kenya, one designed around communally storing maize and the other around saving cash for inputs. About 56% of respondents took up the products. Respondents in the maize storage intervention were 23 percentage points more likely to store maize (on a base of 69%), 37 percentage points more likely to sell maize (on a base of 36%) and (conditional on selling) sold later and at higher prices. We find no effects of the individual input savings intervention on input usage, likely because baseline input adoption was higher than expected.

Noncooperative decision making in the household: Evidence from Malawi
Selma Walther, Journal of Development Economics, 2018.

This paper proposes a novel test of productive efficiency in the household that also allows a test of noncooperative decision making. I extend the collective model (Chiappori 1988, 1997) to allow labor choices to affect future bargaining power by raising the value of outside options. Even if household consumption sharing is efficient, labor choices are no longer efficient. Using data on Malawi, where there is predetermined variation in land rights that determine outside options in marriage, I show that individuals spend more time on agricultural labor and less time on wage labor when household land is theirs. They also have lower overall income and consumption. The results are inconsistent with the fully efficient collective model but consistent with a noncooperative model with limited commitment, where individuals allocate their labor supply to maximize future bargaining power. Limited commitment can lead to inefficient allocations that reduce household welfare.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this email and references to online sources is provided as a public service with the understanding that IFPRI-Kampala/USSP makes no warranties, either expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of the information. Nor does IFPRI-Kampala/USSP warrant that the use of this information is free of any claims of copyright infringement. The views and opinions expressed in this this email and references to online sources do not necessarily reflect official policy or position of IFPRI, IFPRI-Kampala or USSP or should not be taken as an endorsement.