As part of UCA core mandate, UCA with financial and technical support from her partners has organized and facilitated trainings aimed at development and strengthening of human and institutional resources for Cooperatives to be able to deliver quality services to their members. Capacity building activities have been conducted through different approaches including Trainings, information sharing through media and publications and Consultations like coaching, facilitating, expert advice and conducting research and at different levels by training and mentoring Cooperative leaders and management staff in areas including Cooperative governance and management, Business and financial management and resource mobilization. Trainings targeting the Cooperative members have also been facilitated by UCA team.
Resolving Disputes/Arbitration Within the Cooperative Movement
As mandated by section 73 of the cooperative societies act cap 112, UCA has played a key role in the settlement of disputes within the Cooperative movement. Arbitration is a method of one of various methods that together are referred to as alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
Projects Aimed at Strengthening UCA Long Term Sustainability
During the year, UCA focused more on building her sustainability and that of her membership and other cooperatives which is in line with the international cooperative Alliance blue print “Sustainability is recognized as one of the five pillars of the International Co-operative Alliance’s (ICA) Blueprint for a Cooperative Decade, which aims to position cooperatives as builders of economic, social and environmental sustainability by 2020”. To achieve this, UCA implemented activities some of which were supported by the development partners and others using her internally generated resources.
- Implementation of the Agriculture Technology and Agribusiness Advisory Services (ATAAS) Project
Based on UCA good track record in working and supporting farmer organizations like cooperatives, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries through ATAAS project and UCA signed a contract to carry out needs assessment of farmer groups and high level farmer organizations and development of training materials for extension services delivery for the Agricultural technology and Agri-business Advisory services (ATAAS) project. The overall objective of the assignment was to determine the status of farmer groups and high-level farmer organizations, conduct an inventory, identify capacity gaps and develop training materials. The Agriculture Technology and Agribusiness Advisory services (ATAAS) Project of MAAIF is funded by World Bank and focuses on farmer empowerment and organizational strengthening for market linkages. The ATAAS project focuses on providing necessary support to entities whose proven core business is to support the organization of farmers into value-chain oriented memberowned businesses.
b. Vegetable Oil Development Project Phase 2 (VODP2)
Uganda Co-operative Alliance signed a contract with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries under the Vegetable Oil Development Project Phase 2 (VODP2) with financial support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to provide technical support to farmers to grow high value Oil Seed crops including Sesame, Soy bean, Groundnuts and Sunflower and this is being implemented in the Regions of Mbale, Lira, Gulu, Arua. Farmers in Kalangala area are being supported to produce Palm Oil. Under (VODP2), UCA will carry out farmer institutional development and strengthening under the oilseeds and oil palm components.
The overall goal of the project is to contribute to sustainable poverty reduction in the project area. The development objective is to increase the domestic production of vegetable oil products to Ugandan consumers and neighboring regional markets. This will be achieved by supporting farmers to increase production of crushing material (both oil palm and oilseeds), and facilitating commercial relations with processors.
c. Nursery bed project in Nebbi District
On the 70 acres of land acquired by UCA in Ondwong Village, Paminya Lower Parish and Atego Sub-county- Padyere County in Nebbi District, a nursery bed project has been established and we have started with Coffee, Mangoes and Citrus and we hope to supply seedlings to farmers through their Cooperatives and other farmer organizations through UCDA and operation wealth creation (OWC) next season. UCA site is strategically located for business expansion in other enterprises and businesses. UCA strategic direction is full utilization of the investment by venturing into commercial farming, opening up of demonstration plots as learning centers of excellence in Agronomic practices by farmers, expanding the nursery bed project to be able to supply the needed seedlings to the farmers.
- Cooperators’ Agro-processing holding company Ltd.
UCA together with Agricultural Cooperatives started and registered an Agroprocessing holding company Ltd. During the year, UCA secretariat with some financial support from the private sector foundation Uganda (PSFU) developed a five years strategic plan to enable the holding company plan and document her strategic vision and planned interventions. The Cooperators Agro-processing holding company was incorporated to address challenges of farmers and cooperatives along their enterprise value chain especially with regard to limited access to better inputs, bulking facilities, value addition and collective marketing for their growth and sustainability. Cooperators Agro-processing holding company will enable farmers through their cooperatives acquire ownership and control of the various value chains as stipulated in the strategic and business plan for their increased incomes.
e. Youth empowerment programs
During the year, UCA conducted training of over 52 youth groups in more than 50 Sub counties in over 10 Districts in the country aimed at strengthening the youth business associations/ groups under Swiss contact- u learning program. This was conducted with support from the Swiss contact. The overall objective of the training was to equip skills and knowledge to the youth business associations/organizations for their effective market penetration and growth.
Specifically the training aimed at: Creating awareness among the young people on the rationale, importance, challenges and opportunities of starting and building a strong business association/cooperative, Presenting to the youth the principles and standards for the proper governance of associations as unique member owned organizations that must both protect and serve the interests of members through sound and prudent management systems and to Provide information and further support to the young people to formally register and also connect with relevant networks for potential business opportunities. Youth empowerment strengthens the Cooperative movement and sets pace for the strength and sustainability/ continuity of the Cooperative movement.
f. Other income generating activities
In a bid to consolidate her sustainability, UCA has focused on income generating activities like design and sale of Cooperative materials like stationery and operational policies and manuals, hiring out of her Tractors to farmers through their Cooperatives for ploughing. Currently the tractor scheme is well performing and has enabled farmers to access tractor services at subsidized costs.
UCA building on plot 47/49 Nkrumah road has been renovated and five new shops opened on the rear block on Nasser road. More renovations on the building will be made to fit the demand of the Business community on both Nasser and Nkrumah roads. This will enable UCA generate more rental income.g