Building a Seed Business to Support Lowland Rice Production and Move Uganda Closer to a Self-sufficient Rice Industry--Kibimba

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The demand for lowland rice in Uganda has steadily increased, making it one of the country's fastest-growing cash crops. However, the lowland rice industry has received little investment, leading to a shortage of quality lowland rice and a reliance on imported brands. Kibimba Limited, Uganda's largest rice estate, aims to address this issue by becoming a certified lowland rice seed supplier, laying the foundation for a lowland rice seed industry. Kibimba seeks to improve yields and quality while ensuring a consistent supply for milling and distribution by providing clean seed to farmers and offering to buy back the harvested paddy. However, this business model requires farmers to shift from low-investment, low-input practices and invest in certified seed. Farmers must also meet Kibimba's quality requirements for paddy, which may involve changing cultivation practices. Kibimba's certification process is expected to enhance relationships with farmer groups and increase the supply of quality lowland rice. With its large-scale production capabilities, Kibimba can significantly contribute to improving yields and supplying locally produced lowland rice. To support this initiative, Kibimba has partnered with the Resilient Efficient Agribusiness Chains in Uganda (REACH-Uganda) project, which aims to strengthen connections with farmer groups and build trust in Kibimba as a seed supplier and paddy buyer. The partnership includes the establishment of demonstration plots, branding and packaging of the certified seed, and potential collaboration with other rice-milling companies. The expected results include increased yields, farmer participation, income generation, improved milling output, and revenue for Kibimba. This endeavor represents a positive step towards a self-sufficient rice industry in Uganda, with the potential for a thriving lowland rice seed sector.
Cultivation system, Rice