SAA’s One Stop Center Association: BAIDA transforms rural landscape


In the heartland of Bugiri district in Eastern Uganda, this rural community has witnessed a profound shift in farming practices, economic stability, and market influence. Mr. Makaka Moses the Center Manager of Bugiri Agribusiness and Institutions Development Association (BAIDA) vividly recalls the early days when Sasakawa Africa Association with support from Nippon Foundation initiated demonstrations to use improved quality protein maize (QPM) like Nalongo and the effective use of fertilizers. What began as experimental quarter-acre gardens soon yielded not only crops but a vision for sustainable agriculture. SAA's contribution also included comprehensive training in good agronomic practices, post-harvest handling, and the benefits of collective bulking 

As the adoption rate of improved farming practices soared, a new challenge emerged, storage. In 2009, SAA partnered with the World Food Program to construct a state-of-the-art bulking center equipped with milling machines, maize shellers, pallets and weighing scale. The center now bulks over 300 metric tons of grain. The facility not only addressed the storage issue to add value to their produce but also became the center for selling grain, attracting buyers from as far as Nairobi, Kenya from 2012 to 2016.  

Faced with falling maize prices, BAIDA's leader, Mr. Makaka Moses, sought help from the Bugiri district local government. What was received in return was 2 fold, a maize mill and a tractor. Instead of succumbing to the pressure of declining maize prices, they chose to add value. By milling their maize, they not only doubled the price but also created a sustainable income stream. The once disheartening 1,000 shillings per kilogram for maize grain transformed into a lucrative 2,000 shillings per kilogram each day, a steady stream of 50 to 200 farmers, with bags weighing 50kgs, 20kgs, and 15kgs, converges on the facility for high-quality flour.  

BAIDA continues to be a hub of activity, offering services like milling, tractor services, and employment opportunities to the community. BAIDA identified a new avenue for quality animal feed production. They have also expanded into animal feed production, driven by the thriving poultry and piggery farms, the community's demand for the maize brand has reached new heights, creating a ripple effect of economic prosperity. 

Looking ahead, BAIDA envisions a future where they become major players in the export market. Plans include investing in larger storage facilities like silos and empowering farmers across the entire value chain.  

The journey reflects a shift from traditional to modern, sustainable practices, symbolizing progress and resilience in Bugiri's agricultural community. 

Retrieved from SAA E-Newsletter, issued in December 2023 with Focus on 2023 Highlights

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