Development Aid, Agricultural Value Chains and Farmers’ Benefits: The Case of Vanilla Growers in Kasese, Uganda
This article assesses farmers’ benefits from a donor-funded programme that promoted non-traditional agricultural export crops, specifically vanilla and hot pepper. Data was obtained from a survey of 125 famers from eight farmers’ associations working with a Dutch NGO and trading company, four focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Kasese Smallholder Income and Investment Programme used a value chain approach helping farmers at various stages. Farmers benefited from input loans, agricultural skills, extension services and a market for their produce. Vanilla producers were affected by the persistent drop in the crop prices, which affected the sustainability of associations beyond the Kasese Smallholder Income and Investment Programme. Stronger famers’ associations will give more benefits; the government should therefore promote a nationwide cooperative movement and crop regulatory authorities so as to be able to help farmers sustainably.
Keywords: Value chains, smallholder agriculture, non-traditional agricultural exports.