Smallholder farmers Cooperatives in Kiryandongo district gain confidence to sustain farming enterprise after participating in the Business Development training
After a one-day successful training of 4 smallholder cooperatives with total number of 45 members on Saturday 15/7/2023 in Kyakangado Village, Kirandongo subcounty, Kiryandongo district, Mr. Keyura David smallholder and a chairperson of Tusangukengane Saving group, Nakayigo Grace a chairperson of Kabarole Saving group, Arechope Christine a chairperson of Nyakagando Tweyombemke group shared their milestones in business and highlights of how Agripoint helped them to sustain farming enterprises.
Mr. Keyura David who serves as a chairperson of Tusangukengane Saving group with 52 members, expressed that he used to dig with his Dad and perform some homework before joining the group, but they were not making much money. When the group came, he decided to join the group by paying registration fee after being told the group would help him to get a loan that he would use to rent a garden to dig and pay back. David who has been in the group for three years has witnessed changes in his life ever since he joined. He has been able to save something that he could not do before. His savings have enabled him to raise a house for my family, pay school fees for my children and support my gardening activities.
David said he learnt that working as a group is a great opportunity to achieve many better things that he has continues to tap, however the major challenges affecting a group remain to be lack of quality seeds and fertilizer supplies, limited capital and inadequate land. Members plant in average of one acre that rent very expensively- an acre costing about 300,000 Ugxshs.
Despite the challenges, he strongly believes that business development training offered by Agripoint Initiatives Ltd has really opened their minds to get more capital, connect with market so that they produce volumes and quality for high prices. He also believes that they have also leant how they can make money starting with little resources we have, save and set plans and continue to grow through the business opportunities under Afrokai Uganda Limited. Planning to develop and marketing was lacking in most members of the group as many waited for middlemen at home who buy their produce at lower prices, but now they have known how to set prices and importance of selling collectively.
The training offered by Agripoint was a critical opportunity for the group to deepen their understanding of business more so in increasing tonnage. As of now, they are looking forward to first harvesting the maize. They expect to yield at least 5 tones this season (March-July, 2023) and then sit down to plan more tonnage of about 10 tones for the next season (August-December, 2023).
“I am sure we are going to get money, expand production and build our net-worth a prerequisite need to access money from financial institutions”
My business was falling apart before joining the group because I lacked capital to buy the fertilizers for her maize and beans plants. When I joined the group, I accessed some money for buying some fertilizers, and thought I had improved on my production until when we received the business training that I noticed limited knowledge to plan and analyze enterprises, selection of good seeds as the biggest challenges to me and the group still face. I plan to shift from planting local seed which produce low yields to good quality seeds. I am very happy to participate in training, learn business planning and making appropriate business decisions, handling money and selecting quality seeds for increased yield. Together with members present, we hope to disseminate the same knowledge and skills we acquired to our colleagues who missed because of the burial so that we can grow together. In addition, I also seek to implore my team to look for any possible ways to get money through either banks or continue to save slowly to our expand production.
I learnt how to plan that i never knew before the training. I can now plan money and can use money to keep the balance for the next season. I hope to train the group member who were not able to attend the training how to save money, and mobilize the group member to collect the produce and sell as a group so that we earn more money.