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Thursday,August 13,2020 05:24 AM

Mukono graduates fight unemployment with fruits

By Vision Reporter

Added 9th October 2006 03:00 AM

IT is hot inside the one-room house, which does not have windows, but the four people inside are not bothered.
They are working quietly, though once in a while they crack jokes.

IT is hot inside the one-room house, which does not have windows, but the four people inside are not bothered.
They are working quietly, though once in a while they crack jokes.

By Joel Ogwang

IT is hot inside the one-room house, which does not have windows, but the four people inside are not bothered.
They are working quietly, though once in a while they crack jokes.

“Pass me that dish. This fFene (jackfruit) is so sweet,” one of them says. Everyone has a dish and knife. They are peeling and slicing watermelons, pineapples and sugarcanes.

“My name is Isaac Galimaka,” one of them says. “I graduated from Makerere University (MUK) with a Bachelor of Agro-business Management in 2004.”
He introduces his colleagues. They are Godfrey Mubiru (Bachelor of Organisational Studies, MUK), Kato Charles (Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine MUK) and Majeran Luboyera (BA. SWSA) Uganda Christian University, Mukono.

Having been jobless for two years after completing campus, the former students of Mulusa Academy created their own employment. in May, they formed Agriculture support centre, a company that deals in fruit salads in Mukono district.

“We borrowed sh3.5m from Holy Family, a micro-finance organisation,” says Galimaka, the managing director.
With the money, they started buying fruits from farmers in Bugerere, Jinja, Kamuli and Mukono, paid rent and hired a vehicle and three salesmen to supply the fruits.

They buy 500 watermelons, 240 sugarcanes, 700 pineapples and 100 jack fruits per week.
“We buy disposable plates at sh120 each,” says Mubiru, the production manager. Luboyera is the general manager and Kato is the veterinary consultant.

On average, they sell about 250 plates a day at sh500 each. They sell to individuals, five supermarkets in Mukono, Uganda Christian University, Makerere University, Ntinda View College and Stanbic Bank, Mukono.
“During the dry season, we sell about 250 plates a day, but during the rainy season, we sell about 150 plates,” says Mubiru.

Mukono Mayor, Johnson Muyanja, inaugurated the company recently and pledged to support it.

“It is high time the youth discarded pride. Many say, ‘How can I do that job?’ They end up doing nothing,” he said.
The fruit company has been contracted by Mukono National Agricultural Advisory Services to train farmers in Nkokonjeru, Kawolo and Buikwe sub-counties in the basics of proper farming.

“Our pay depends on the sales. When sales are high, one may earn up to sh400,000. A salesman gets sh60,000 and we spend sh100,000 on rent every month,” says Mubiru.

The three-month-old fruit company has plans of expanding. The members plan to get a sh10m loan.

“We will use the loan to buy five refrigerators and put them at the universities, where most of our customers are,” says Mubiru.
They also plan to get a cold room, vehicle and building.

Mukono graduates fight unemployment with fruits

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