Promoting Innovations Generated by the Participatory Market Chain Approach in Uganda

Background

The CIP’s Papa Andina Initiative and PRAPACE research project validated the potential of PMCA to stimulate market chain innovations and pro-poor development in Uganda. To improve commercialization of sweet potato, Mukono ZARDI with other stakeholders engaged in the Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA) as a pilot project. The major objective of the project was to bring together different actors in the sweet potato industry, to provide a platform for identifying and developing market innovations that would enhance marketability of sweet potato and to increase income of all the market chain actors. Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), the Regional Potato and Sweet potato Improvement Network (PRAPACE), the International Potato Center (CIP) and Papa Andina jointly funded the PMCA project in Uganda, which was managed by PRAPACE.

The project had 3 phases. Phase I involved understanding the market chain actors within the different commodity groups, phase II identified and analyzed joint market opportunities and innovations and phase III implements joint market innovations. In Uganda, all the three phases were completed in September 2007. The Sweet potato group developed and implemented market innovations of Orange fleshed and non-orange fleshed sweet potato. A one-day workshop (final event) was held on 25th September 2007 to present and launch these products to market chain actors, research and development partners and the general public.

This pilot project run for a period of 2 years (2005-2007) and attained the following achievements;

  • Improved packages were developed for 4 sweet potato products: Kasawo Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) flour, Abuket Processors OFSP flour, TOMCRIS OFSP crisps and SALINA OFSP crisps.
  • OFSP processors in Luwero (Bajjabasaaga Orange Flashed Sweet Potato farmers/processors) were supported in their activities by availing them with a chipper for the production of quality sweet potato chips which in turn are processed into composite flour by Kasawo Grain Millers.
  • The construction of a kiosk/stall at Kalerwe market for promotion of the sell of clean and graded sweet potato roots and other products was accomplished.
  • Abuket Processors OFSP Flour: A packaging material was launched for this composite flour which was originally packed in plain transparent polythene bags for consumers.
  • TOMCRIS OFSP crisps: These were developed and packaged by TOMCRIS enterprises.
  • SALINA OFSP crisps: Developed and packaged by Njukunkuju Farmers’/Processors Group.
  • Introduction of clean selected and graded sweet potato of variety NASPOT 1 to UCHUMI supermarket.
  • Introduction of cleaned, sorted and graded OFSP sold in supermarkets and wholesale market.
  • PMCA actors were supported with funding from the Harvest plus project/NRI to establish a Portable Kiosk which was used for promotion of sweet potato innovations and as a centre for providing information on sweet potato and its products.  

The project was scaled to Kayunga with 5 farmer groups to whom Orange fleshed sweet potato varieties were introduced from 2008-2009.