MUIIS Service Agents profiling farmers across Uganda

MUIIS Project

For more information on the project

Benjamin Kwasi Addom, PhD Programme Manager, MUIIS Agro Business Park 2 Wageningen, the Netherlands.

Mrs. Carol Kyazze Kakooza
Project Manager, MUIIS African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) Plot 22A Nakasero Road, P.O. Box 34624 Kampala, Uganda.

A key resource and asset for the MUIIS project is the farmer profiles. The estimated 350,000 farmers will have detailed profiles within the project database. The profiling is being carried out by a network of 200 MUIIS Service Agents (MSAs) through the existing networks of EAFF, AGRA and Mercy Corps.

The profiling of the farmers will help the project in offering tailor-made solutions on the basis of which site and/or crop specific advice being developed by the project partners. To make sure the data is relevant to the farmer’s specific geographical location, the Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates of every farmers’ field is entered by the MSAs into the project database.

The MSAs are not employees of the MUIIS project but are volunteers at this initial phase of the project implementation, and are remunerated based on tasks performed. The MSAs are receiving immense resources, training and capacity building to enable them carry out their tasks. This investment in the MSAs is expected to trickle down to the leaders of cooperatives and farmer organisations through cascaded training and marketing of MUIIS project and its bundle service and products.

In addition to the profiling data, the MSAs are expected to upload real time complementary data into the system as they travel in the rural communities and interact with the farmers. The MSAs will carry out training of farmer champions (lead farmers) and provide extension services based on the support from MUIIS team of agronomist and extension specialists, and also actively promote the services to farmer organisations, input suppliers, NGOs and the farmers themselves.

The current state of profiling

The development of the profiling instrument has gone through a rigorous iterative process, tested and currently being used across the country. Two rounds of training of the MSAs have been completed on the use of the profiling instrument, the MUIIS Bundle Services, and marketing and promotion of the services. The farmer profiling is being done using ONA software uploaded onto the smartphones of all MSAs. As of December 2016, over 20,000 farmers (5.7% of the target) have been profiled by the MSAs with farmers spread-out in all areas of the country excluding the Karamoja region in North East of Uganda. With the launch of the MUIIS promotion and marketing campaign, it is expected that the rate of profiling will rise as the farming season begins in 2017.

Using the ONA mobile enabled profiling tool, the map can be analysed to display the desired data sets, e.g. gender mapping. Below are series of graphs showing selected information being gathered on each farmer (based on the data collected first week of December 2016)

Gender of farmers

Age of farmers

Mobile phone ownership

67.4% of the farmers own a mobile phone vs 32.6% reported not owning a mobile phone.

Smartphone vs feature phone

Only 3.7% of all farmers profiled own a smartphone. 94.5% of all phones used by farmers are feature phones. Only 5.5% of the farmers have a smartphone.

Mobile network operators

From the mobile network operators available in Uganda (MTN Uganda, Airtel Uganda, Uganda Telecom, Africell Uganda, Smile Telecom, K2 Telecom, Smart Telecom, Vodafone Uganda) MTN, Airtel and Africell are sharing the bulk of the mobile subscriptions.

Mobile phone usage

Mobile phones are mainly used for voice calling and receiving phone calls (78.5%). Just under 4% use the mobile phone for internet access. SMS is use is 15.1%.

Mobile phone literacy

The largest group of farmers has a basic or good phone literacy level. Only 5% of farmers has a very good level of phone literacy. A majority of women is only able to use the phone for basic applications.

Educational level analysis

A majority of both female and male farmers have primary level education as the highest education level.

Farmer organisation membership

The majority of farmers (67.9%) are individual farmers not belonging to a farmer group/organisation (FO). This implies the MUIIS consortium will be involved in mobilising farmers into commodity groups as the initiative progresses.

Access to agri-insurance

Very few farmers have access to insurance with about 76% accessing index based insurance while 23% have the traditional crop insurance.

Copyright © 2016, CTA. Technical Centre for Rural and Agricultural Cooperation

This project is funded by The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and being implemented through the Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) Facility of the Netherlands Space Office (NSO).