MUIIS Uganda Initiative is Inclusive: Says the World Economic Forum (WEF)

The 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.

The MUIIS Uganda project has been selected by the New Vision for Development of the World Economic Forum (WEF) as an initiative that is inclusive especially by its gender lens which improves the quality of its design.

The principle upon which the New Vision for Development by the World Economic Forum (WEF) was developed is based on the agreement that economies and businesses will need to be transformed if they are to ensure sustained improvements in living standards for all the world’s citizens. Thus, enhancing the inclusiveness of growth is a long-term process that requires long-lasting commitments across a multitude of stakeholders to mobilise resources, time and effort, and in order to do so, they increasingly require more coordinated and better information to help them identify the right decisions and prioritise actions.

In order to accelerate progress towards a more inclusive and sustainable future, the World Economic Forum, supported by Canada’s International Development Research Centre, and the World Bank Group launched a competition aimed at crowdsourcing innovative examples of win­win public, private and multi-stakeholder practices that foster both productivity and social inclusion. Entries are being judged based on the demonstrated or potential impact of the case, innovative and insightful proposal, evidence-based and well-written line of argument, demonstrated the potential for scale and political and economic feasibility, and mindful of the growth impact, as well as environmental and social implications.

MUIIS is an innovative initiative that harnesses the power of big data, mobile revolution and innovative partnership to support agricultural productivity in Uganda. It establishes a demand-driven, market-led, and user-owned approach to the provision of extension and advisory services using satellite-based information services related to

  • i) Weather forecasting and alerts;
  • ii) Crop management and agronomic tips; and
  • iii) Financial services including index-based insurance to crop farmers in Uganda.

Designed based on principles that are in line with the New Vision for Development goals, MUIIS entered into the competition and after rigorous assessment, it is selected as one of the promising initiatives. Some of the recognitions according to the expert judges include

  • The initiative has clear social and economic benefits at both the household and regional level.
  • It could be highly scalable if the farmers appreciate the results themselves
  • The technical quality appears to be very high because the consortium of partners brings in the expertise of a wide variety. While this can slow down progress, it raises the quality of project design. The use of a gender lens in design improves the quality as well.
  • It could have a measurable impact on agricultural productivity if properly implemented but difficult to assess as only training phase has commenced.
  • There are many lessons on how to structure and manage complicated partnerships like MUIIS. It comes down to individual and collective leadership.

These positive observations by the judges regarding the MUIIS initiative are not coincidence, said Dr Benjamin Kwasi Addom, the Programme Manager of MUIIS at CTA. The project was designed with the long-term vision for scaling and sustainability but also being cognizance of the dynamics in the sector and with the technologies being used. Hence, there is the need for all partners, including those who see its business potential to have patience and work with the implementing partners to nurture it in order to move from project status to a self-sustaining ICT-enabled agribusiness capable of transforming the sector.

MUIIS is being implemented by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (ACP-EU CTA) in collaboration with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), based in Nairobi Kenya; aWhere Inc., based in USA; the Eastern Africa Farmers’ Federation (EAFF), based in Kenya; EARS Earth Environment Monitoring (EARS-E2M), based in the Netherlands; the eLEAF Competence Center (eLEAF), based in the Netherlands; and Mercy Corps, based in Uganda. CTA’s mission is to advance food and nutrition security, increase prosperity and encourage sound natural resources management in ACP countries. It facilitates information and knowledge sharing, supports multi-stakeholder policy dialogue and strengthens the capacity of agricultural and rural development institutions and communities. It’s three strategic goals include the development of profitable smallholder value chains; support the development and implementation of conducive agricultural policies and regulatory frameworks, and enhance the capacity of stakeholders in information and knowledge management.

For more information on MUIIS, please visit: http://muiis.cta.int/

For more information on the New Vision for Development and selected initiatives, please visit: http://reports.weforum.org/new-vision-for-development/results-2/

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).