In 2008-2009, Ugandan organisation Toro Development Network (ToroDev) was awarded a small grant through the APC’s Gender and agriculture and rural development in the information society (GenARIDS) project. No more than a year later, the grass roots organisation has been awarded $12, 000 through the Africa Rural Connect contest, to continue its work in helping small-scale rural farmers – many of which are women – learn to use technologies such as mobile phones, radios and computers.
ToroDev’s award-winning project focusses on building the capacity of small-scale maize farmers in one of Uganda’s poorest regions. The project has increased the women’s sale shares by increasing support for ICT training from men in the community, and linking the women directly to potential buyers in urban markets by using mobile phones, thus avoiding middlemen.
Founder and executive director, Johnstone Baguma, told Voice of America “As Toro Development Network, we are planning to continue with this project, especially hoping that farmers who are mainly involved in maize growing, how we can help them improve on their production, how they can be able to market their produce because they have been heavily exploited.”
The GenARDIS seed grants certainly helped put this project into action, but it is the dedication of the winning organisations that make the GenARDIS project such a powerful one.