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Sustainable Enterprises for Trade Engagement

Many smallholder farmers in Uganda are food insecure because they are not engaged in meaningful agribusiness enabling them to deliver their products to lucrative markets.

Lutheran World Relief (LWR) supports Community Enterprise Development Organization (CEDO), a bean seed cooperative, to develop its capacity to improve service delivery — including extension services, marketing and saving/financial services — so its smallholder members can profit from the market.

For CEDO to operate a viable business, LWR is strengthening its capacity to invest in its operations, adapt systems for tracking business operations, and add value to the beans it markets.


LWR’s support allowed CEDO to improve its organizational capacities in the following ways:

Human Resources

  • Tripled the number of extension staff from 5 to 15 in 4 years.
  • Expanded extension capabilities to 75 Village Enterprise Agents in 2016.

Service Provision

  • Grew its reach of extension services from 700 to 17,000 farmers in 9 years.
  • Increased availability of foundation seeds, allowing CEDO to increase from 450 to 1350 contract farmers within 9 years.
  • Organized 532 village savings and loans associations to improve financial services to farmers.

Systems and Structures

Developed and implemented various organizational policies and procedures, such as:

  • Bulking and Marketing Plan, resulting in a growth of collective sales of members’ seeds from 28.3MT to 113.9MT in 9 years.
  • Agricultural Input Access Policy that defined processes to provide foundation seeds to outgrowers, increasing the quantity of foundation seeds distributed by 169% in 4 years.
  • Introduced accounting software for financial management, aligning CEDO’s systems with generally acceptable accounting practices.
  • Established an electronic payment system for seed producers, reducing the risk of cash transactions.
  • Developed a web-based data management platform to aggregate farmers’ production patterns and make management decisions.


  • Collaborated with international agricultural research institutes on seed technology, producing 19 bean seed varieties, compared to the 4 varieties that were being produced four year ago.
  • Accessed and retired a $100,000 loan from Oiko Credit for trade financing.

Capital Investments

  • Constructed and equipped organization offices and a 30MT warehouse.
  • Installed a 3 metric ton per hour seed processing plant.