Uganda to expand rural information system

The International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) and the Ugandan government have signed an agreement to expand a programme that helps rural farmers increase their income through ICT-enabled crop marketing services. The Rural Information System (RIS) programme enables farmers to send and receive production and market information through 26 information centres in isolated areas throughout the country. The information helps farmers sell their produce at better prices. The Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Industry (MTTI) will build ten new centres.

The new phase in the programme will begin in early 2010. The involvement of MTTI significantly improves the sustainability of the RIS programme. Together with the Uganda Commodity Exchange, MTTI will drive the programme and work with existing farmer cooperatives to set up new centres. IICD will act as project advisor, sharing its experience in rolling out the existing centres and its expertise in monitoring and evaluation.