Nakaseke (Uganda)

This Food Hub is located in the Nakaseke district, in the central part of Uganda. In 2020, it registered a population of 234,600 people

The crops with the most important agricultural production in Uganda are maize (76.2% of farmers produce it), bean (65% of farmers) and coffee (23%).

FoodLAND surveyed a total amount of 400 farmers in this region with the aim of improving the background knowledge of African smallholder farmers’ decision-making and of individual and contextual conditions. 123 out of these 400 farmers surveyed were women, and the other 277 were men. 62.5% of farmers are members of any local farmers’ associations.

According to the information gathered from the surveys, 89.2% of farmers’ income is lower than the average income in the region, the income of 8.5% of farmers is about the average or somewhat higher, and only 2.2% of farmers stated an income higher than average. Nevertheless, 88% of them are able to meet their household’s food needs, 10% experience some difficulties, and 2% face serious food shortages.

Besides, they have reported major worries regarding the near future about infestation pests (4.24 on a scale from 1 to 5), the cost price increase of fertilizer or seed (4.22), health diseases (4.07), social problems (violence or crime) (3.88), drought (3.88), income reduction (3.75), and dispossession of land (3.65).

With regard to their interest and propensity to introduce new technologies and/or productions, 90.3% of farmers are extremely or moderately interested in adopting a technological innovation (4.76 on a scale from 1 to 5).

Technological innovations in this Food Hub

Precision irrigation / fertigation systems. The installation of irrigation/ fertigation systems with smart sensors can efficiently prevent such a waste of water. The objective is to set up a digital solution allowing small farmers to schedule irrigation / Fertigation based on the monitoring of the continuous Soil, Plant climate using sensors and a smartphone app. All the information will be gathered through data collected by sensors installed in the field, processed, and distributed by a Big Data service. The effect of different fertigation strategies will be tested in four crops (Green Pepper, Cabbage, Tomato and Pumpkin), by applying a randomized block design with three repetitions per treatment. Yields and quality parameters of the crops will be measured and compared.

Precision harvesting systems. The information on the ideal harvesting time is essential because the farmer needs to make informed decisions to ensure ideal product quality, and storage conditions and to prevent harvest losses. Additionally, being able to calculate the ideal harvesting time would allow us to better organise supply chains and reduce losses through improved logistics. Precision harvesting systems can be implemented through sensors on the ground or sensors in the air. The study aims at developing smart monitoring and control systems aimed at optimizing and standardizing the timing and procedure of harvesting crops and fruits.

The fertigation trials that also will be developed in this Food Hub will serve as a test case for informing precision harvest. Yield and quality of crops from the fertigation trials harvested according to local habits and according to optimal windows of irradiation and temperature sums informed by the local weather station and satellite data will be compared and harvest models will be developed. These harvest models can then be scaled to any other interested Food Hub within the FoodLAND consortium.

Solar drying. The study aims at assessing the potential of solar drying of leafy vegetables to prolong shelf life and ensure continuous supply during the dry spell. Solar drying technologies best suited for green leafy vegetables (Amaranths) will be identified and profiled through a survey, and then the suitable solar drying technologies tested in a participatory manner for their capacity to dry Amaranths.

Bio-based packaging. This action is aimed at developing and testing bio-based packages able to preserve the overall quality of food products from different Food Hubs, during storage and transportation. The activities to be done are the following: identification of different raw materials among several agricultural by-products from local regions to be used as material, optimisation of the coating formulation, assessment, characterization of preliminary obtained materials, pre-selection, testing at lab/small scale level of environmentally friendly, affordable, and suitable pack materials. This Food Hub is focused on bio-based package for fruit and vegetable products.

Nakaseke (Uganda)

Paired city: Kapeeka, Uganda (800 / UGA / UG)

Nakaseke (Uganda)
Paired city: Kapeeka, Uganda (800 / UGA / UG)