Many Ugandan farmers are not earning much from their produce because they are not entrepreneurs, an agri-business expert has said.Svend Kaare Jensen the managing director Agribusiness Development Initiative (aBi) said Ugandan farmers have an enormous task ahead if they are to reap “big” from farmin
By Patrick Jaramogi
Many Ugandan farmers are not earning much from their produce because they are not entrepreneurs, an agri-business expert has said.
Svend Kaare Jensen the managing director Agribusiness Development Initiative (aBi) said Ugandan farmers have an enormous task ahead if they are to reap “big” from farming.
“I have realized that Ugandan farmers are not entrepreneurs and they cannot continue like this. They must start engaging in farming as a business and not just as a side income earner,” said Svend.
The aBi component is one of the three components of the U-Growth programme aimed at supporting the private sector in achieving the objectives of the government of Uganda’s Competitive and Investment Climate Strategy (CICS).
The component is managed by the Agricultural Business Initiative Trust a Ugandan Trust created to support agribusiness initiatives in the country. The initiative is funded by Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands and Government of Uganda.
Svend who was addressing 71 entrepreneurs who had completed a weeklong Training of Trainers (TOT) course at Grand Imperial Hotel last week said gaining entrepreneurship skills is the only way to address the increasing economic crisis and global challenge. “Ugandan farmers can earn more from agriculture if they get into entrepreneurship. They have to be serious, plan, save and invest,” he told the trainers drawn from 28 districts. The training was facilitated by Enterprise Uganda.
Peninah Kyarimpa the aBi Gender advisor said the aBi component is designed to contribute to economic growth, wealth and employment creation, and poverty reduction.
“These trainers will use the skills gained here to train other agriculturalists across the country,” she said. She said the objective is to strengthen the competitiveness of Uganda’s agricultural and agro-processing sector through enterprise or firm level interventions for agribusiness development using the value chain approach.
“The chosen value chains include: coffee, oil seeds (sunflower, sesame, ground nuts and shea butter), fruit and horticulture, pulses (beans, soya beans, cow peas, field peas, chicken peas) and maize” said Kyarimpa.
She pointed out that they intend to use the G4G plan to increase women's competitiveness through training in entrepreneurship, participation in technical activities, fairer gender relations at household level as well as economic and legal justice.
“G4G will focus on strategies to reach out to more youth farmers and entrepreneurs. There is a deliberate effort to ensure that there are more learning sessions to enable the subcomponent to capture more innovations for purposes of adaption,” she said.
The Enterprise Uganda director business development, Rosemary Mutyabule said it was sad to have farmers in Uganda crying of poverty yet they are the drivers of the economy. “You toil the whole year, but is it sad to have farmers remain poor because they lack entrepreneurship skills,” said Mutyabule.
Jackson Kyakuha from Kyenjojo district farmers said the skills they had got would help them add value to what they produce. “We have learnt more on how to improve on the Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) methodology,” he said.
Sharon Akello a youth from Dokolo said the training had helped her learn more about improving the role of women in agriculture and in agri-businesses.
aBi Trust tips farmers on entrepreneurship skills