3D Revolving Fund Initiative

3D Revolving Fund Initiative: Insect segments farm for household’s poverty eradication

Gulu, UgandaGulu, Uganda
Year Founded:
2013
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The decision to protect climate change disaster from farming business requires farmer to invest significantly at the outset and this has been a serious barriers to over 90% of the smallholder farmers in Uganda. 3DRFI help them to establish this farm with their own capital and the farmers pay latter.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if all trees standing are considered members of the family and left to play its natural role without disturbance?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Poverty is causing forest destruction which has a direct link to climate change. Impacts of climate change on agricultural are well known. Globally, by 2050, agricultural yields are expected to decrease by about 7%, and in some regions yield losses are likely to be 20% by 2030 as a result of climate change. Variability in temperature and rainfall will not only affect yields and yield volatility, but also increase risks of pests and diseases.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The company is using the principles of revolving fund where we established a 3-acre farm refer to as “Insect Segment Farm” for each beneficiary identified and recruited into the company farmer's network. 250 banana suckers are planted in the first acre, 550 timber tree species in the second acre and 250 different fruits plants in the last acre. The package is consolidated by providing improved crop seeds and minor farm equipment to boost productivity as the company trains them in agro-forestry farming technique. At harvests, the produce is collected at a central point in each village where a truck picks and take them to different selling outlets established by the company. The total investment cost is paid by installments over the years.

Awards

None
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

What we are doing with them is, we target a village and send a message to a village chairperson to mobilize his community on a particular date. We reach them and talk about our products as we establish one demonstration farm there. We sign MOU with the willing members as we drill them for three months in agro-forestry farming technique and other basic skills. After, we buy them required farm equipment and improved seeds as we establish Insect Segment Farm for each of them. A single store is rented in that village where they stock their harvest while waiting for delivery to the company. The total cost of investment is calculated for his farmer and they pay by installments over the years as they continuously supply the selling outlets.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The project aim is at increasing resilience to climate change, environmental conservation, accelerating economic transformation, and raising the incomes of poor people. The main project results to date include: • Established 187 insect segments farms to 187 households in northern Uganda • 102,850 timber tree species planted, 46750 fruits plants and 46750 banana stems • 4 selling outlets in 4 different districts have been established • 41 domestic biogas plants and 146 energy saving stoves constructed in total • Transformational shift from low equilibrium, vulnerable agricultural economy, to more productive, resilient agricultural economy. We are seeing northern Uganda transiting from an isolated, conflict-affected and economically lagging region, with high vulnerability to climate change, into a dynamic wealth creating economy, supplying greater value products to Ugandan.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Our approaches has won the hearts of so many Ugandans where currently we are receiving too much demands from the farmers than the available capital to invest in their land. We are working very hard to see that we meet the demands for our service. On getting enough capital, we want to expand our selling outlets to all the major towns in northern Uganda and later to other parts of the country and South Sudan. The more the selling outlets the more the clients we can admit to our services. Secondly,the company is venturing into value addition and negotiating contract supplies with other companies.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We already have structure. We have a team of professionals operating the commercial trees nursery site and other managing the establishment of farms. We have our marketing team, and the management body. We have selling outlets, we do value addition and we generates income from all these. Above all we have a network of farmers already that are constantly supplying us. And lastly, this is a revolving fund that we keep on redeploying to reach more.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

BRAC, an NGO founded in Bangladesh in 1972, began operations in Uganda some years back. It provides microloans to women, typically small business owners, as well as small enterprise loans. The organization supports the agriculture activities of smallholder farmers by providing farm inputs and free training workshops. BRAC offers its small loans ranging from $100 and $500 at competitive interest rates. It's different from our approach in so many ways- they target only women, if you are farmer, you get only farm input and they don't link farmers to markets, the biggest nightmare of most farmers.
Team

Founding Story

I love helping the underprivileged who want to get somewhere but they do not know how, they are trying to improve their living conditions, but it’s not working out. I love doing this because there's nothing more rewarding than seeing people realize this is possible. The best part is when they actually take those steps and I can see that it changed their life. Smallholder farmers in Northern Uganda are doing everything within their mean to change their situations, but they are being betrayed by erratic weather condition, outdated farming methods as well as gaps in the farming skills, unscrupulous business men, and lack of capital to start up a meaningful farm business.

Team

Torach Peter is the founder and CEO of this company, a graduate in Quantitative economics with several training in agricultural field. He has been in a top management level for over 10 years now with success. He run the company with team like Okumu Jimmy who is the project manager, a graduate in agriculture from Makerere university. He has Denis Okello the farm manager, a diploma holder in animals and crops husbandry. Opira Stephen the sales manager and his sales team and other two members volunteering in his department.Two forest technicians managing the trees nursery site and the farms, 2 field officers working part-time.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

Opportunity for Africans website

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Founder and CEO

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

No Poverty, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

Around 2009, in my own village, members were crying of drought and variability of rainfall which alter their farming seasons. As a result, household level productions were often falling short of the minimum household needs rendering people vulnerable to food insecurity. I told them that is climate change effects and is not about to end. The best thing to do is to diversify our sources of income which will bring us in contact with things that we are not familiar with, but will save us a lot. I contacted our district production department to train our people in bee keeping, fish farming, poultry, etc. A year later I visited few hotels and restaurants in town to make them aware of our little project. For those who took up the project I became their Savior. Working in this project gave me vision and the time when I realized how much I could do as a person. Now being motivated by how many lives were being helped, I told my cousin brother to work on a concept of forming a CBO that will promote economic development of this village and incorporate this project. He did that and Pangang Development Association was born, we expanded the activities a little and we push it to cover three sub-counties. This work led me to win 2013 international SEED award. The award looks at achievements in innovation and entrepreneurship which promote economic growth, social development and environmental protection. Basing on this, I was recommended by our Resident District Commissioner to the Netherlands embassy in Uganda where through competitive processes, I managed to go through to study a short course in organized farmers as partner in agribusiness, from Center for development and Innovation, Wageningen University. All these would have not happened if I didn’t take a bold step with this community. I'm proud of the journey i had to date.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

We have great supports from Gulu University faculty agriculture and environment team in term of advises and books, National Forest Authority who are guiding us in raising tree seedlings and procuring for us the best tree seeds in the market. We have Tree Talk Uganda which is supporting us in training the beneficiaries in different modern farming skills including the agro-forestry. World Vision and Lutheran World Federation are our biggest customers for tree seedlings, and so many individuals for their guidance and support.

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