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Makerere aids Teso groundnuts farmers

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th June 2012 07:46 PM

Makerere University College of engineering, design art and technology has come in to assist Teso farmers improve and boost up their ground nuts production through formation of groundnuts clusters.

Makerere University College of engineering, design art and technology has come in to assist Teso farmers improve and boost up their ground nuts production through formation of groundnuts clusters.


By Dan Opolot

Makerere University College of engineering, design art and technology has come in to assist Teso farmers improve and boost up their ground nuts production through formation of groundnuts clusters.

It’s spearheaded by the Makerere’s innovation systems and clusters program Uganda (ISCP-U) aimed at enabling small and medium enterprises innovate and add value to their products.

The head of innovation systems and clusters program in Makerere Yasin Nakuziraba said that the groundnuts Cluster is aimed at consolidating and strengthening Teso Region’s position as a major contributor to Oil Seed Crop including Ground nut production in Uganda.

He said that the Cluster concept enhances competiveness of businesses through creation of networks and strategic linkages, need-based research and innovation and knowledge.

Others include technology transfer, market access, hence improved income, employment, empowerment and value addition among other benefits. 

57 participants have undergone a Local Facilitator Training course on Cluster Development conducted by ISCP-U in partnership with UIA.

Participants represented 7 districts which constitute the Teso Ground Nut Cluster Serere, Kumi, Soroti, Kaberamaido, Katakwi, Ngora, Amuria and Bukedea.

Others include Busitema University (Arapai Campus), NAADS, NARO, Processors like Uganda Groundnuts Processing Initiative-International, Technologies Transfer Ltd, Teso Private Sector Foundation, Producer Groups such as Ocokican Farmers Group, Opiyai Elders Group.

During the training, participants raised a number of challenges including climate change effects, poor infrastructure, limited access to good and affordable processing machinery, limited technical skills and knowledge, poor business and entrepreneurial capacities, among others.

Participants also identified critical areas for intervention, corresponding strategies as well as Cluster Action Teams (CATs) including skills development through specific cluster trainings, market access, technology access transfer and baseline survey.

The Investments Executive Yvonne Munabi said that ISCP-U is collaborating with Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) in nurturing and developing the Ground nut Cluster in Teso Region to boost up production in Teso.

Soroti District Chairman LC5, Mr. Egunyu G Michael, who officiated at the training, encouraged participants to actively engage in Cluster activities and utilize potential opportunities that come with Clustering as one of the effective ways of enabling poverty eradication in the region.

The UIA SME Division Director Ouma Albert noted that improved and large scale groundnuts production in Teso will help to attract investors to establish groundnuts processing factories in the area.

Makerere aids Teso groundnuts farmers

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