STEP-UP Project


Environmental Alert in partnership with Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) from Germany, Wageningen University (WUR) from Netherlands, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Advisory board: Solidaridad-NL, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Kenya Bureau of Standards and National Environment Trust Fund (NETFUND) from Kenya, National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) and Solidaridad Network  from Uganda is implementing a project called “Sustainable Transition to Entrepreneurial Production in Agriculture through Upgrading” (STEP-UP). This project is implemented in Rwiimi sub county of Bunyangabu district and Birere and Ruaaga sub-counties of   Isingiro district from 2019 to 2021 and it aims at identifying and implementing strategies to upgrade production, processing and marketing of cooking banana (Matooke) in two districts of Uganda. It combines research-, development- and outreach-oriented activities in five Work Packages (WPs), and implements sustainable intensification (SI) and market linkage (ML) strategies to enable small farm enterprises (SFEs) to step up towards food and nutrition security, sustainable development and income generation. STEP-UP employs a participatory multi-stakeholder approach where new technologies in cultivation, processing and packaging are implemented and assessed in mango and banana food value chains (FVC) in Kenya and Uganda respectively. Details


The overall aim is to contribute to food security and sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa through equitable commercial relationships between smallholders farms enterprises’ (SFEs) and markets within the frame of sustainable agricultural production. We focus on the heterogeneous groups of smallholder farmers with an entrepreneurial ambition. STEP-UP will support smallholder producers to access relevant technologies, innovations and management practices for the transition to commercialized production. Specific objectives are:

  1. Achieve sustainable intensification of SFEs and the transition of diverse farms to commercial enterprises that contribute to food and nutrition security while minimizing trade-offs in other sustainability dimensions;
  2. Provide key actor groups, local authorities and decision-makers with instruments and information for discussion and decision support based on participatory ex-ante and ex-post impact assessments;
  3. Inform policy implementation towards a supportive public-policy environment based on locally-relevant sustainability principles, criteria and indicators.

Conception Research Framework

  1. System analysis of food value chains to identify entry points for SFEs to STEP-UP, chain of mechanisms linking push to pull strategies.
  2. Participative identification and cross country exchange of sustainable intensification (IS) and market linkage (ML) strategies.
  3. Food system strategy development, implementation and testing in two countries (push and pull approach).
  4. Assessing uptake of strategies, due to added value and efficiency gain.


Key Expected Results

Composition of STEP-UP Project Consortium Partners

Opportunities and Challenges

Sustainable Transition to Entrepreneurial Production in Agriculture through Upgrading

 Project Leaflet


 Updates and Activity Reports

Work Package 2
Food Value Chain (FVC) Analysis of Banana and Mango(ZALF)
Author: Esther Ronner
Task 2.2: Farming systems analysis (WUR)
Analysis of mango farming systems in Kitui, Kenya



Contacts Information for Ugandan Partners


No Organization Focal Person/Persons Contact
1 Environmental Alert Dr. Joshua Zake

Mr. Kayiita Jolly

Mr. Tebandeke Andrew

2 National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO Kawanda) Dr. Kephas Nowankunda
3 Soridaridad Uganda Mr. Julius Semyalo

Implementing Partners: