St. John is a Farmer Association located in Kikwanya B Village in Buikwe District. The association started as a farmer group in 2003 and has since been mentored in food security. St. John joined YARD in 2013 under the promotion of the Agro-Enterprise Development Programme of ERI.
The group received a variety of trainings and capacity building from YARD, such as Participatory Diagnosis, Marketing and Market Intelligence, Farmer Participatory Research and Project M&E which enabled them to select two commodities for marketing: maize and cassava, processed into flour and chips as well as sold as a grain. The group came up with objectives, one of which being to form an association, and they have since been able to do so with three groups within their community.
One major achievement of the association is the acquisition of a milling machine, which has enabled them to add value to their products and establish market linkages that help them to generate significant profit. St. John has also been able to acquire a 50x100ft plot on which they plan to construct their offices, a group store and a mill house. With the help of newly established partnerships, the association is now a member of the local Housing Finance Group, registered as a housing cooperative, and has additionally been able to diversify into animal enterprises.
The Association now plans to purchase a truck which will enable them to transport their produce between farmers and the market in bigger quantities. Given the high demand in the community, St. John plans to produce 20 tons of cassava flour per week and eventually turn into a company to provide job opportunities for themselves and family members.