Returning to Katine with the Guardian
06 December 2013
Farm Africa is delighted to be a charity partner in the Guardian and Observer’s 2013 Christmas appeal, and to be returning with them to support farmers in Katine, Uganda.
The Guardian’s ambitious Katine project launched in 2007, and over three years - with the help of generous Guardian readers, Barclays bank, and a number of specialist NGOs including Farm Africa – the project changed the lives of a whole community.
Farm Africa supported farmers in Katine to build a grain store and establish a co-operative to market farmers' agricultural surplus, ensuring they get a better price. Several years on, we are returning to work with the co-operative again to strengthen their business skills and build on what their members have already achieved.
Although life has improved in Katine, people are still vulnerable. The critical time for farmers are the months leading up to harvest, when they have invested their money in seeds but not yet harvested their crops. In this time farmers often have to borrow money against their future harvest, facing interest rates of 5 or 10% a month. This uses up their disposable income and means that the farmers must sell their harvest immediately, at the time they will get the lowest price.
Access to cheap loans is a vital safety net, meaning that farmers can get through the hard times before harvest, and can wait to sell their produce for a better price out of season.
Farm Africa is partnering with the Guardian and Barclays bank to provide training in business management to the Katine co-operative, but also to make loans with very low interest rates available to members so that they can invest in their future, and Katine’s future.
Please donate to the Guardian and Observer Christmas Appeal today. All donations that go to Katine project run by Farm Africa will be matched by the UK government.