This study was conducted between June and July 2017 in Abim, Lira and Soroti to assess the capacity and support available to farmers with special emphasis on the cassava, maize and millet value chains. The study also explored issues of quality, market potential and value-addition opportunities for the value chains. Data was collected through interviews with farmers, local government staff, produce buyers and consumers, NGOs supporting farmers, the Ministry
of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) officials and farmers’ networks. The study established that farming was the leading economic activity in the districts, dominated by maize, millet, cassava, groundnuts and beans which served as food as well as cash crops. These crops provided food supplies for households but also served as cash crops. The mean monthly income from the sale of agricultural produce was found to be in the region of UGX 220,000, which exceeded the income that households could obtain from alternative income-generating activities.
Almost all crop fields were found to be vulnerable to water and wind erosion. A significant number of farmers were unable to control soil erosion owing to lack of resources while some farmers lacked knowledge and skills for soil erosion control. There was overwhelming evidence that soil fertility was declining based on the reduced crop harvests that farmers registered annually. Measures to improve soil fertility were limited to the application of crop and animal manure by less than 20% of the farmers and no farmer was found to have applied artificial fertilisers.