Unearthing Ethics and quality standard practices in Uganda’s Rice value chain

Unearthing Ethics and quality standard practices in Uganda’s Rice value chain.

Over 80% of Rice growing and production in Uganda is found in the eastern part of the country (as shown by the AGRI-QUEST map of studied value chain on our website: http://agriquestuganda.com/value-chains/). This output level is dominated by Bugiri district. However, Rice is mainly grown in Kibimba in Bugiri District (famously known by the Kibimba Rice Scheme), Doho in Butaleja District and Olweny in Lira District.

This AGRI-QUEST video shows where traces of unethical practices are likely to emerge in the entire Rice Value chain. We also reveal gaps where quality gets tempered up. The video also shows some measures that can be taken to close quality and unethical gaps.

Experts advise is also given by District Production Officers, Agriculture extension workers, ago-input dealers and also buyers and sellers of the rice produce. Lastly, Low Cost technology is shown. That is farmers have invested in locally made machinery which can be used to thresh rice, separate rice from husks, grade rice etc.

Women were found to involve over 75% of their time in rice growing as opposed to men whose time is a 54%. To this end, this video shows the problems they encounter and also express where they need help. Basic farming safety items like gumboots and gloves were not readily accessible by ladies (and to a greater extent by men).

This exposes them to water born disease and water logged dangers like lynches and snails. Drying facilities like tarpaulins are also lacking and where they exist, it is costly to buy. On average, an 3 Meters by 4 Meters was costing 70,000/= which the majority of farmers can not afford. This makes drying Rice on bare ground the main solution. Hence making churning of rice very difficult leading to prolonged drying and thus high broken rates.

Men are largely involved in heavy duty work associated with the rice value chain like packing in big volumes, transporting on bicycles (though some ladies also do this), lifting packed rice (usually in bags of 100 Kilograms), negotiate payment as well as providing security for the rice farms. We found that micro (bottom of the pyramid) farmers who constitute the majority of the players in this value chain, hardly know of any rice related standards.

They want to be trained. Mobile phones and mobile applications was seen as not a viable option to pass on behavioral messages. The reason was the prevalence of low literacy levels among these players.

Unethical practices like price cheating, false weights and measures as well as deliberate failure to pay for consignment were registered. It was interesting to note that Rice farmers consider failure to adhere to Good Agronomic practices (GAP) as Unethical and mentioned that this is the leading entry point for poor quality Rice produce.

For detail of the findings, please contact
David Katamba
AGRI-QUEST Lead Researcher
Email: dkatamba@uccsri.com

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