Field Trip To Bugiri.
On the 3rd of April, a group of 10 researchers traveled from Kampala to Bugiri to begin their three-day field trip. Five members of the Agri-Quest team together with five master students from the VU Amsterdam left to learn about the rice value chain. Since rice is one of the seven value chains that is studied in the Agri-Quest project, Bugiri is a suitable district to visit. This district is surrounded by swamps and therefore it has a suitable environment for rice to grow.
With the help of Mukungu Isaac from the Africa 2000 Network, several interviews were organized in advance. Agri-Quest has a multi-stakeholder focus and therefore it was important to discuss the research objectives with various agribusiness players. The research team has interviewed farmers, millers, traders and even chiefs and district members to get a broad idea of issues arising in the rice value chain. The topics that the team looked at were ethics, ICT-usage, practical issues, but also gender, networks, and policies.
The local participants were holding back in the beginning of each interview, but along the way, many farmers or interested locals gathered around the research team. It led to interesting situations and several new insights. In the upcoming weeks, these insights will lead to new policy briefs and research papers.