uganda by lanyuehua


									The Centre for
Agroecology and Food Security

Theme: Fair Routes to Market                                        in particular by demonstrating a year-round flowering and
                                                                    fruiting habit. However, the performance of berry fruits on a
Project: Trialling Organic and Fair Trade Berry Fruit               commercial scale is hardly researched or documented. The
Production in Uganda                                                network of farmers working with Fruits of the Nile are generally
                                                                    keen to experiment on a small scale, and there appear to be
For over 15 years, the UK company Tropical Wholefoods has           no major constraints to accessing basic organic amendments
pioneered international trade in Fairtrade tropical dried fruit     if the produce are to be certified organic. Supporting this
from Africa and Asia into the UK. In Uganda, Fruits of the Nile     experimentation are several larger scale farmers, and regional
Ltd is Tropical Wholefood’s business partner, working with          research institutes.
small farmers to develop solar drying businesses in rural
areas. The current product range is dried pineapple,
two varieties of dried banana, and dried papaya. Each fruit
is offered in conventional, organic and Fairtrade versions.
More recently, competition from other suppliers is pushing
this venture to investigate the production of other products
for the UK market. A study by Kent Business School
recommended berry fruits as being a viable and lucrative
option. Outcomes of broadening the product range include
stabilising the position of Fruits of the Nile and its employees,
providing incomes for over 400 small rural businesses as            An initial scoping study by Garden Organic found that
well as employment opportunities, bringing in hundreds of           there appears to be a low risk to trialling cape gooseberry
thousands of foreign currency into the Ugandan economy,             and strawberry crops, a higher but feasible risk of trialling
and developing knowledge and know-how for other suppliers           blueberry, and a longer-shot trial of raspberry. In addition, it
and markets to benefit from in the future.                          was recommended that an investigation take place to identify
                                                                    indigenous berries for trialling. Knowledge on these can
                                                                    be sourced from forestry, botany and traditional medicine
                                                                    sectors in Uganda.

                                                                    Based on this, Tropical Wholefoods developed specific action
                                                                    steps which are being undertaken in conjunction with Garden
                                                                    Organic: 1) feasibility assessment of growing berry fruits in
                                                                    Uganda; 2) research into appropriate cultivars and cultivation
                                                                    methods; 3) development of a field production handbook;
                                                                    4) establishment of nurseries for disseminating planting
Temperate berry fruits are found in the tropics, either spread      materials and advice; 5) drying trials and chemical analyses;
naturally or by human activity. Those that survive adapt            6) dissemination of growing and drying technologies to

For further information contact:
Dr Julia Wright
The Centre for
Agroecology and Food Security

farmers; 7) testing a consignment of the product; 8) creation
of Fairtrade standards for the products; 9) development of
certified organic production systems; 10) product
marketing in the UK.

A major challenge and impact on varietal selection has
been the identification and sourcing of appropriate varieties,
because of the restrictions placed on them by Plant Breeders
Rights, certification compliance with Ugandan import
regulations, and quantities available.

Overall, the cultivation of berry fruits in Uganda is technically
feasible, in particular for cape gooseberry, strawberry and any
local Ugandan berry fruit. The challenge and learning process
lies in the logistics, communications, timing, regulatory
environment, and other factors. This is a pioneering project
that has met with curious interest from the berry fruit growing
industry and, when successful, would lead the way for other
farmers in Central Africa to benefit from the market chains

For further information contact:
Dr Julia Wright

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