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Sunflower farming gives Ugandans money to rebuild

Sunflowers in UgandaIn 2009, most of the population of northern Uganda had been displaced during the 20-year war between the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army.

As the people returned home, they were eager to resume agricultural activities – but needed a sustainable cash crop to help rebuild their farms.

In a fourteen-month-long project, Mercy Corps focused on the cultivation of sunflowers, a crop with a ready market thanks to high demand for sunflower oil. Seeds were purchased from a local vendor and Mercy Corps trained each farmer in best practice techniques for planting, cultivating, and harvesting their crops, as well as marketing and contract farming.

With the income generated by the sunflowers, farmers were able to expand their cultivated land and increase their overall production of staple and cash crops.

By establishing contacts with the private sector, this project helped more than 4,000 farmers ensure a ready market for their sunflower seeds at harvest.

This program was supported by donations from The Hunger Site and In the last decade, and The GreaterGood Network has given more than $1 million to Mercy Corps.

Photo courtesy of Mercy Corps

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