YAP proposal #111: Agrofamily Stakeholders’ Platform (Opiyo Charles, Uganda)

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My name is Opiyo Charles, a Ugandan aged 33 years, an agribusiness professional with eight years field experience of implementation of food security, and currently pursuing a master’s in business administration from Gulu University. I grew up in a family of seven, which depends on agriculture for our livelihood.

During my tenures, I have interfaced with farmers in the rural communities in post-war setting and now intend to transform agriculture as a family business.

Appreciating the uniqueness of each family in terms of access and control of agricultural resources, Agrofamily Stakeholders’ Platform is a project in which families host different value-chain actors for discussion—right from the time of family enterprise(s) identification, through resource planning, profitability analysis, and task-allocation, to implementation and formation of an umbrella organization: Agrifamilies Business Associations (ABA).

Agrofamily Stakeholders’ Platform puts families at the centre of any agricultural development programme. The identification of agro-opportunities and threats for a family, and its empowerment, lays a strong foundation for the establishment of successful business associations. Through linkages, families host different stakeholders and discuss critical issues, through which household development plans are developed and implemented. In this way, interventions are tailored to respond to real household needs. For instance, a family might choose maize as an enterprise for business promotion, then a detailed discussion of the entire value chain is held with the families, then a family is fitted along the chain in respect to their opportunities, threats, strengths, and weaknesses. To operationalize the family value-chain plan of action, I map the value-chain actors, and initiate home visits and referrals for support.

For a period of time, normally one year, families with similar value-chain characteristics are brought together to consolidate their efforts under Agrofamilies Business Associations that then register at the sub-county and district. I then select enterprise(s) that each association has a value-chain comparative advantage over, which I intend to promote internationally in the near future.

I conceived this idea as a result of the many business opportunities that I personally see along the different agro-value-chain lines. And I believe using a family-centred approach could help families identify and fit themselves, and benefit from these available opportunities along the different value-chain lines. The interesting thing is the availability and endowment of families with factors of production that range from family labours and land to social infrastructures, like community agricultural stores, roads, and other value-chain actors.

This, I believe, will give families gains in terms of employment, access to education (even at higher levels), and improvement of living standards, as families are strengthened economically. To me, this would be a great success towards the realization of my dream of commercializing agriculture. It will give me the opportunity to advance my career in the area of rural development and agriculture, through exposure to outside people and experience-sharing.

The following steps are used to identify a family for this project:

  • A family is referred by local leaders/community, then family visits are arranged to explain the objectives and seek consensus upon which family-interest/needs assessment is conducted.
  • This is preceded by family goal-setting.
  • Resources/family-capacity assessment is then conducted to guide development of household development plans (family-value-chain plans of action).
  • From these, the best alternative(s) are selected by the families, who then mobilize family resources to execute the plan(s).
  • The family-value-chain plans of action form the commitment between the project and the families. They define the appropriate schedules for involving the external stakeholders that leads to graduation to the ABA.

To-date and alone, I have supported a maximum of five families. They have selected maize and poultry as their business. The idea developed out of the scientific/technical discussion: to leverage resources by producing feeds for poultry rearing families; and, at the same time, use poultry waste as a manure in the production of maize, which is an organic method of production.

The success of this project will be measured on the basis of the number of families reached and supported to become agribusiness families, the number of Agro families business associations registered, and the average monthly household income, including the household major income sources.

The execution of the activities is as follows:

  • Household development planning USD 900 (June 2016)
  • Value-chain development/actors engagement with households USD 1,200 (July to December 2016)
  • Direct support to households USD 1,400 (July to December 2016)
  • Learning visits USD 1,100 (January to March 2017)
  • Documentation USD 400 (April to May 2017)

 

Blogpost and picture submitted by Opiyo Charles (Uganda): charlesscore[at]gmail.com

The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.

 

This post is published as proposal #111 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.

As a reader, you can support this speaker’s entry:

  • Leave a comment (question, suggestion,..) on this project in the comment field at the bottom of this page
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“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.


53 thoughts on “YAP proposal #111: Agrofamily Stakeholders’ Platform (Opiyo Charles, Uganda)

  1. This is a super proposal that can help Africa at large in eradicating extrem poverty and hungers in rural as well as war and post war areas like East and Northern uganda.
    I strongly support this proposal for the economic empowerment of families through the valua chain approach.

  2. Great idea with the potential to scale out wards especially by harnessing the synergies of the two enterprises. Besides this proposal enlists the active involvement of the local farmer as they collectively plan/ budget together. Again through value chain development approach women are very much brought into the frame. I agree no more

  3. Yes, This is the way to go in helping the family address their immediate needs through farming

    1. John Baptist, families make too many livelihood decisions and this is why we need their active involvement, i think having a round table discussion will identify key issues and at least make sure they pick something of priority within their means!

  4. Charles, I love the family engagement concept and I strongly think this will really transform the economy. Take this seriously since this will unlock family’s potentials and the plan can be implemented from one generation to the next generations; it is a well conceptualized, practical & a true socio-economic empowerment initiative. This project will definitely have very tangible social-economic positive impacts in our community.
    “Overcoming Poverty is not a gesture of Charity. It is an act of Justice. While Poverty persists, there is NO true Freedom” Nelson Mandela.
    Good Luck!!!

    1. Michael thanks a lot, one of the families i have engaged is now considering the family development plan as an asset that they can include in its will, i am glad this project is tackling the root of the problems (poverty), we shall find ways of advocating it to be part of the national development plans, from household development plan to Village Development plan to Parish Development Plan to Sub County Development Plan to District Development Plan and Finally to National Development Plan. It will the best approach to sustainable development. Let’s Join Hands.

  5. Charles, i am reminiscent of this imperative concept of Agro-family stakeholders platform a “family-centred approach”, Sustaining the Development Goals begins with the family development plans, otherwise i congratulate you for several innovations you have, i am in full support of the concept.

    Cheers!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Good proposal, especially the idea of starting with the family need and the involvement of the different value chain actors. The learning visit should be within the same project area where internal and external factors are the same. The involvement of many stake holders is good because we need a holistic approach to transform households but many times it creates household fatigue, the value chain actors should be involved one at a time.

    Good work Charles and you should continue implementing it at your household which can be our learning point.

  7. Wow Charles!!!!!!!!! i am reminiscent of this imperative concept of the Agro-family Stakeholder platform; a family centered approach, Otherwise sustaining the Development Goals begins with the family decisions., i am in full support of the concept,

    Cheers!!!!!!!

  8. The Pakasa Forums started the same way, humble being huge success. we have moved for MGDs to SDGs your are within the range……… Eyalama.

  9. Great Idea Charles, however you need to take care of the family’s focus as they get better with their income, external factors may crop in and may derail them, Close monitoring and guidance is very key as you plan to execute this, otherwise it’s a Great Idea which is workable !!!!!

    1. Thanks Obadiah, family life skills component will be part of the HDP- Household Development Plan. It will be comprehensive enough to sustain families growth and development.

  10. Brilliant idea! Agriculture is the backbone of our economy, through this you’ll change the lives of many families. Keep it up!

  11. Great Idea Charles” I have liked the success story of the 5 families, Given your background and your profession, sky is the limit. Kudos

  12. It is great initiative to tackle house hold economic from the household level, I like the idea Charles

  13. Charles I think this is a very brilliant idea and I think if the whole world could support this kind of innovation then our world would be changed. I support this proposal 100% its a professional one.

  14. Dear Charles, to me I think its a good idea towards a changing world and I think you would not fail to achieve these good ideas when you are supported financially.

  15. Dear Charles, You have the brain, coupled with your zeal and charisma, go getters always succeed yet their success will benefit many especially less privileged persons/ families in northern Uganda and you are one of those . change will only happen when we cause and desire to.

    Eyalama

  16. I like this idea,if we continue in this way then, we gonna achieve all the SDGs well!,Keep it up

  17. This is nice, i support this initiative. Charles, Can we think beyond the YAP funding for this great piece of work!

  18. Your choice is the best Charles, food security at household level matters directlyinto the lives of household’s individuals now you need to go more miles beyond YAP in order to support more families I give you credits

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