Business Development Trainings Empowers Irish Potato and Maize Smallholder Farmers in Fort Portal District.

Home » Business Development Trainings Empowers Irish Potato and Maize Smallholder Farmers in Fort Portal District.

August 1, 2023    By admin   

Business Development Trainings Empowers Irish Potato and Maize Smallholder Farmers in Fort Portal District.

Agripoint Initiatives in partnership with Afro-Kai Uganda Limited conducted Business Development training for smallholder farmers cooperatives in Fort Portal. The training with the overall objective to help small scale farmers organized in cooperatives to know how to make money in farming, save and re-invest in agriculture occurred for a period of 2 days.

At least a total of 5 Cooperatives with 87 individual smallholder farmers benefited from trainings. 4 cooperatives belonged to Kakindwa Farmer Groups in Hurongo subcounty Musiso Farmers Group in Kabende Subcounty.  The target smallholder farmers in both cooperatives majorly cultivated crops such as Irish potato, maize, banana and minor crops like groundnuts, soy beans, and beans that they sold to buyers in the region to meet the household needs.

49 Smallholder potato farmers belonging to Kakindwa Group trained at Kikindwa Mixed Farm in Hurongo Subcounty hope to double yields after acquiring the business development knowledge and skills. The group in the photograph represented many more farmers who have cooperated with support agents in the region and have been linked reliable market (Afrokai Uganda) that offers them fair prices.

Taking a sharp look at two heaps of perfectly gathered and cured potato ready for packaging and market can be a great reflection on the hard work in field, previous experiences, and selling in the already determined price by the buyer. Unlike Kakindwa farmers in Hurongo subcounty in Fort Portal district that seemed parallel after the business development training. It was a moment to see how to increase the quantity and quality to increase money so that they can support their families and make better use of the previous experiences and business skills to improve in the next planting season and embrace market opportunities.

Training of the smallholder farmers in the farm was yet another opportunity to learn about how they can produce throughout the year. Mugisha Saidi – chairperson of the group while sharing his comment started by citing how the training would help them attain water reservoirs and alternative irrigation interventions such as solar pumps for sustainable production – an idea they perhaps noticed at Kankindwa Mixed farm. He said one of the challenges they had was limited business development skills, but now they are inspired to participate in business farming because he strongly believed they learnt to increase money and save money for water reservoirs, solar pumps so that they can produce throughout the year.

This photograph shows the water reservoir at Kankindwa Mixed Farm

Mulisa Eddy 27 in the same group, “I felt it difficult to make money in farming and opted to move town to look for money, but the perception has gradually changed from this training.  After seeing how to make huge profits and use it to continue expanding, I have realized there are many opportunities in agriculture. I hope to actively engage in farming and use the entrepreneurial skills learnt to develop my fellow youth in the region.”

Charity Busingye training Musiso Farmers Group on Financial Literacy on Monday 3rd July, 2023 at Musiso Office in Kabende Subcounty in Fort Portal district.

“We are united as a group, but when it comes to planting of crops like Maize, Irish potato and banana, we plant and sell individually. This has limited us from acquiring credit to support our activities because we lack what to show. In this Business Development training, I have learnt that if we work collectively, we can address all the market challenges we experience.
Secondly, we can sell together to obtain some networth in order to obtain credit from the bank, invest to grow the capital and obtain audited financial accounts always required by the financial institutions.  I have been counting on this opportunity, and I am grateful to Agripoint Initiatives for showing us how to make money, manage money, and develop with money”, commented Seveno Byamugishamember of Musiso Farmer Group. 

Mbambazi K. Harriet Secretary in the same group said we are hardworking farmers and each of us has the potential to produce more than 20 tons of maize. All along I have been wondering why middlemen who buy our maize have been complaining of quality and squeezing us with low prices. In fact, I have learnt a lot from this training and wish we had such training in our early youth, by now our lives would have changed so greatly. I appreciate Agripoint and I am indebted to them. I plan to start connecting with the market and building stores for bulking to support our production. As a team, it is something that we will look forward to reflect and meditate on after the training.