I arrived in Kampala (Entebbe Airport), Uganda late last night (Friday, January 7th). I am part of team on a USAID research project designed to better understand what factors lead to successful integrated dairy cooperatives in emerging economies, especially organizational models that produce value-added projects that will increase household incomes. Most of the dairy farms in Uganda and Kenya, as in most of the developing world, are very small and usually operated by women. This project is led by Land O’ Lakes Foundation, a non-governmental organization that was created by the Land O’ Lakes Dairy Cooperative. This foundation has conducted a large number of projects around the world, with the aim of developing cooperatives in emerging economies.
We are going into the field tomorrow. A few initial impressions of life in Kampala, from my stay of less than 24 hours. First, the most striking observation for me is the demographic differences between the US/Europe and what one sees on the street in an emerging economy like Uganda. The urban population is very young, lots of young adults who have left the villages and have to the city for work. This mirrors a demographic shift that occurred in Europe and the US in the 19th and early 20th century. Another observation is the huge number of automobiles on the road and the concurrent amount of air pollution. Even in a relatively poor country like Uganda carbon emissions may be problematic.