REACH FOR RESULTS - Kibimba Rice
This document highlights the significant role of Kibimba Rice Limited in becoming Uganda's largest producer of high-quality rice seeds. Collaborating with the International Fertilizer Development Center's (IFDC) Resilient and Efficient Agribusiness Chains in Uganda (REACH-Uganda) Project, Kibimba Limited aims to address the supply challenges faced by smallholder farmers and major rice players in obtaining certified rice seed. By resolving the scarcity of quality rice seed, the project aims to improve production and productivity and establish resilient rice value chains in Uganda. The inadequate availability of quality rice seed forces farmers and producers to rely on saved grains, resulting in lower yield quality, reduced productivity, and increased vulnerability to pests and diseases. Furthermore, due to the limited supply of quality lowland rice seed, farmers are compelled to cultivate upland rice, which has lower market value and productivity. To counter these issues, the intervention focuses on supplying large quantities of certified WITA 9 rice seed, known for its highly marketable lowland rice. Kibimba Limited is well-equipped and possesses the necessary skills to become an accredited producer of quality rice seed. With a highly mechanized facility, an efficient irrigation system, and approximately 4,000 hectares of prime land, Kibimba can produce ample quantities of quality rice seed while maintaining ongoing production activities. In August 2019, Kibimba Limited planted 1.3 metric tons of WITA 9 lowland quality rice Foundation Seed from the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) on 130 acres. The company employed over 100 laborers to ensure proper planting and management according to required standards. Additionally, Kibimba established demonstration plots to raise awareness among rice farmers regarding the availability and benefits of quality rice seeds. Field Extension Workers (FEWs) recruited and trained by REACH-Uganda play a crucial role in mobilizing and engaging smallholder farmers, equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills for profitable farming. Apart from supplying quality rice seed, Kibimba Limited also acts as a market for farmers' paddy by purchasing their lowland rice at competitive prices. This incentive encourages farmers to buy improved seeds, as they have a reliable market for increased yields. The ongoing harvest will result in the availability of certified rice seeds for purchase, coinciding with the first planting season of 2020. Ultimately, establishing an efficient and sustainable seed business is expected to support lowland rice production, enhance the resilience of Uganda's rice industry, and move it closer to self-sufficiency.
Self-sufficiency, Value chains, Smallholder farmers, Rice