Factors affecting effective performance of rural producers’ organizations in the Teso farming system, Uganda

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H. Sseguya
M.N. Mangheni
A.R Semana
F.I Oumo


Rural Producers' Organizations (RPOs) have a vital role to play in Uganda's efforts to improve the peoples' standard of living. Recent developments like launching of the plan for Modernization of Agriculture (PMA) and policy reforms notably decentralization, privatization and liberalization reinforce this role. In the PMA, RPOs are prioritised as the main avenues through which farmers, as rural producers will be empowered to access and control services. However, despite their existance in Uganda for long, experience shows that RPOs have been largely unsuccessful in enhancing development of the rural people. This study was conducted in the Teso Farming System of (Eastern) Uganda covering the districts of Pallisa, Kumi and Soroti. The objective(s) of the study were to (i) characterize the existing RPOs and determining their respective capacities for achieving objectives (ii) examine linkage mechanisms existing between the RPOs and other players in rural development. Thirty RPOs, ten per district, were were selected based on existing apex bodies. The study used focus group discussions guided by a rapid appraisal checklist. Findings indicated that a variety of functions, seventeen (17), are served by the different categories of RPOs. The main ones included provision of training in agriculture and other related fields (76.7%), procurement of inputs for members (56.7%), provision of market information (46.7%), marketing (40%) and credit (40%). Linkages are vital for effective achievement of purposes and most RPOs (80%), had established them with extension and local policy making institutions. Many RPOs lacked linkages with credit (83.3%) and marketing institutions (56.7%), yet they are percieved as key players in development efforts. Main constraints affecting their performance included inadequate access to resources (96.7%), lack of technical knowledge/ skills in running RPOs (66.7%), lack of own income sources (70%), insecurity (63.3%) and lack of adequate markets (60%). A prediction of main issues that potentially impact on improvement of quality service provision included having plans in addition to establishment of adequate and effective market linkages. On the basis of these findings, recommendations aimed at enabling RPOs play their enhanced role in development become necessary. These include, among others, emphasis on development of appropriate policies, bye-laws and plans to guide their management, establishing income generating activities and establishing market linkages as well as linkages with other RPOs.

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Sseguya, H. ., Mangheni, M., Semana, A., & Oumo, F. (2004). Factors affecting effective performance of rural producers’ organizations in the Teso farming system, Uganda. Uganda Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 9(1), 38–44. Retrieved from http://journal.naro.go.ug/index.php/ujas/article/view/197