AFRICA HAVEN – Transformation of an African exporter
Africa Haven, a prominent player in the global trade of tropical and exotic fruits and vegetables sourced from African producers, has seen exponential growth in its exports thanks to the transformative impact of the Business Accelerator Program (BAP).
Access to affordable credit remains one of the most pressing issues for agribusinesses in Uganda. A lack of collateral and the burden of high interest rates create formidable barriers for entrepreneurs seeking to invest in their farming operations or expand their businesses.
Limited access to markets, both domestically and internationally, is another significant hurdle. Many agribusinesses, struggle to reach consumers due to a lack of market information and infrastructure.
The adoption of modern farming techniques and technologies has been slower than desired. Many agribusinesses, especially those in rural areas, lack access to vital tools and knowledge that could significantly boost productivity and competitiveness.
The state of rural infrastructure in Uganda, including roads, electricity, and storage facilities, poses a considerable challenge. Poor infrastructure increases transportation costs and hampers efforts to efficiently process and store agricultural products.
Climate change and its unpredictable impacts, such as prolonged droughts and devastating floods, pose a constant threat to agricultural productivity. Smallholders, in particular, bear the brunt of these weather-related challenges.
Inadequate post-harvest handling and storage facilities contribute to significant losses of agricultural produce. This not only diminishes profits but also affects food security by reducing the availability of crops for local consumption.
KIKAZI’S MILLET FLOUR – A flourishing enterprise courtesy of BAP
Start-ups have been impacted in a significant measure too. Grace Kikazi, a specialist in producing high-quality millet flour, has emerged as a success story, all thanks to the Business Accelerator Program (BAP).
Founded in 2019, Kikazi’s journey from a small-scale cottage industry to a flourishing enterprise is a testament to the power of knowledge and training. Under the guidance of BAP, Kikazi successfully registered her business, obtained a trademark and a UNBS quality mark, and registered with Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). Kikazi, the founder of Kikazi Millet Flour Original, was inspired by a mother in Fort Portal who needed quality millet flour for a diabetic patient. Hailing from the millet-rich region of Bushenyi-Rukungiri, Kikazi saw the potential and gradually began her millet flour venture on a small scale. In 2020, she decided to take it more seriously, but the Covid-19 pandemic posed initial challenges. With a modest initial investment of Shs3m from her savings, Kikazi ordered millet grain from farmers in western Uganda. She sorted and cleaned the grain before packaging it. In the beginning, production was limited to a few bags, each weighing around 100kg. Kikazi outsourced the grinding machine and carried out packaging at her home in Kireka, operating as a cottage industry.
In April of this year, Kikazi received guidance from an expert associated with ECOS, a project aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of Ugandan SMEs. The expert emphasised the need for a solid structure to scale up her business. It was during this time that Grace was introduced to ADC and embarked on a journey of learning. Through the Business Accelerator Program, Kikazi gained crucial insights into corporate governance, organisation, and formal business registration. There are quite a number of things I thought I should implement though I haven’t implemented some. What I did for example, I shifted from home. I learnt that proper record keeping is really important. I also learnt that I don’t need to do everything on my own. Previously Kikazi was registered as a just a business name, I learnt that if you keep in that area you stay small and can’t scale up, you can’t be a supplier and you can’t be profiled in a government database,” she says of BAP’s impact.
BAP also highlighted the significance of digital marketing in today’s era, leading her to establish an online presence for Kikazi. Kikazi aspires to acquire a high-quality milling machine and secure financing for marketing efforts. She is also focused on establishing robust corporate governance structures and efficient sales management systems for Kikazi.
“With the linkages the programme exposed me to, I am sure of securing financing to have all this done and be able to tap into the export market,” she says. Kikazi emphasises the relevance and practicality of the training received through BAP. She advises fellow entrepreneurs to attend such programs whenever possible. “The trainings were physical and when you have those interactions, you get to understand the concepts much better,” she says.
RAW&ORGANIC – BAP gives wings to shea butter business
Raw & Organic, a company specialising in the extraction of pure Shea butter, has seen remarkable transformation, because of the Business Accelerator Program (BAP). Enid Natukunda Mugisha, began her journey in 2019 and has since not only built a thriving business that has also made a meaningful impact on her own life.
Natukunda’s entrepreneurial journey was born out of personal struggle. Her own battle with alopecia, a hair-loss condition, led her to seek natural remedies like Shea Butter. After losing her hair, particularly during the COVID-19 lockdown when she couldn’t visit her hairdresser, she decided to add value to Shea Butter. Shea Butter Nilotica, made from the nuts of the Nilotica Shea tree, is renowned for its natural properties and benefits for hair and skin. Raw & Organic sources Shea nuts from northern Uganda, and through the cold-press extraction method, they produce pure Shea butter. The company is UNBS certified, ensuring the authenticity and quality of their products. While Shea Butter was the initial focus, Natukunda expanded her product range to include skincare and hair products. The demand for these products grew as customers experienced the benefits. The company now produces shampoos, hair conditioners, treatment products, and hair food, among others.
The sustainability of Shea nut trees is a concern due to the impact of charcoal businessmen. These trees take around 35 years to yield nuts, making their protection vital. Additionally, Natukunda faces challenges in securing a permanent location for her business and expanding into export markets to boost demand.
“I am not sure when I will be moving to another place. Our new place was dilapidated but luckily there is efficient power supply. We put in a lot of money to clean it and we even got into debt,” she says. Our hope is to get land and have a structure of our own. Natukunda discovered BAP through DFCU Bank’s ‘Women in Business’ forum and decided to enroll.
“Someone in another business group told me about BAP as a hot cake. She had got to know about it through ECOS, which is funded by GIZ. That is why I didn’t hesitate to enroll for BAP,” she says. The program provided invaluable knowledge and practical insights. It emphasised corporate governance, encouraging the formation of advisory boards. Financial literacy and management practices improved, helping Natukunda create a comprehensive business plan.
“We now know how to do a business plan. I had a shoddy business plan but they helped us to develop the new one we are using. We now even have a marketing plan with them step by step. That has improved a lot in our work. All along I was doing this by myself. Even the money was coming through my account but now I am getting out slowly by slowly. The funders and bankers look at the company not an individual,” she said.
Raw & Organic is actively working on marketing and sales strategies to expand its reach. Natukunda is considering stocking more products this year to meet increasing demand. She emphasises the need for patient capital to fund business growth and is looking for grants to achieve this.
“There’s nothing you can do without money. If I do marketing the right way, demand will increase. I will need more products. This calls for more capital investment in the value chain,” she says.
For someone who has not attended BAP training, Natukunda says they should do.
“Even if you don’t need the capital, they help you put your house in order. Through the training, we are now on the journey of product certification with UNBS. You may have happy customers,but you need to certify your products with quality marks,” she says.
JAKI AGRIBUSINESS – A side hustle that blossomed
Janet Kibwika, a 66 year old poultry farmer, has witnessed a remarkable transformation in her agribusiness journey, and at the heart of this transformation lies the invaluable support she received from the BAP training.
From humble beginnings as a poultry farmer supplementing her income, Kibwika’s story exemplifies the power of knowledge, training, and the right support system in propelling an agribusiness to success.
Kibwika embarked on her poultry farming journey in 1994 while working as a transporter at Kyagalanyi Coffee Company. What started as a side hustle with 250 birds in her garage soon became a thriving venture. During the early days, the poultry market was favourable, and Kibwika was making substantial profits which reinforced her commitment to the business.
Kibwika’s determination led her to save enough money to purchase her first piece of land within just three rounds of poultry sales. She continued to expand, eventually acquiring two acres of land in Wakiso District in 2009. Kibwika’s love for chicken rearing became her daily routine, and she was managing a stock of 1,000 chickens monthly before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. The pandemic presented unforeseen challenges as lockdowns disrupted her sales. With 650 birds ready for sale during the first lockdown, Kibwika struggled to find buyers. Her profits dwindled, and she found herself exploring alternative businesses. At this point, Kibwika realised the importance of formalizing her business.
Kibwika’s journey took a significant turn when she attended a farmer’s meeting in Nansana, where she met a veterinarian officer who referred her to a business training session at Ivory Hotel. This is where she met Mr. Jimmy Byaruhanga, a trainer with the ECOS program. ECOS focuses on equipping small and medium-sised enterprises (SMEs) with the skills needed for growth.
Kibwika’s interaction with ECOS trainers emphasised the importance of business registration, financial management, and other essential aspects of running a successful enterprise. She realised that without formalising her business, she was limiting her potential. With guidance from ECOS, Kibwika registered her business as Jaki Agribusinesses Limited, a name derived from her own, Janet Kibwika. She obtained a Tax Identification Number (TIN), setting her on the path to compliance. The training extended over four months and covered various critical topics, including financial management and price risk management. Kibwika attended every session diligently and opened a bank account for her business. She learned the significance of record-keeping, which she now takes seriously. Separating personal and business finances became a priority, leading to improved financial discipline.
“Now I write down everything and I have learnt to separate my own money for domestic expenses from the business. Now I realise, it is not my own now but for us. You see with us farmers, documenting is a very big problem. For instance, when you buy chicken feeds, you postpone it to another day because you are tired. When it continues like that, you forget,” she says.
Kibwika’s participation in the training introduced her to a network of fellow farmers and entrepreneurs. Interacting with people from diverse backgrounds and businesses allowed her to share experiences and expand her knowledge base. As a poultry farmer, she recognised the potential for growth but also the need for financial support.
Kibwika’s journey has opened her eyes to possibilities she hadn’t explored before. Her immediate goal is to restore her business to pre-pandemic levels, which requires financial assistance. Currently, she manages 250 birds and envisions expanding her chicken house into a double-story structure for year-round production. She learnt how to diversify her business by venturing into related businesses.
“I have to be on the market regularly. But even beyond, I have been taught about the value chain. You can do businesses which are in the same line. I have the plan of keeping the layers also. I also have a plan of starting a bakery because I have every done it. I can also open up a shop selling the feeds because I have all the knowledge,” Kibwika says.
Kibwika expresses her gratitude to the BAP program and its facilitators, who demonstrated a genuine concern for the success of businesses like hers. She acknowledges the transformative power of knowledge and emphasises the importance of record-keeping and financial management for farmers and entrepreneurs alike.
Kibwika and her fellow program participants graduated in June and were featured on the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) portal, a significant pathway to business development.
Agriculture is one of the sectors that have witnessed significant growth in creativity, with innovators coming up with modern ways to handle farm mechanization, assess weather patterns, manage pests and diseases, and improve access to farm inputs, finance, markets and digital agricultural services.
These innovations elevate Africa through shared information among farmers, transforming their ventures from subsistence to thriving commercial businesses.
The new innovations in agriculture have shown us how technology can help us build more sustainable food systems and improve the food system. Amon the innovations includes Farm automation (tractors & drones, Robots, and eLearning platform such as
- SOMA – www.soma.adc.ug
- Atingi – www.atingi.org
- OLC (Open Learning Campus) – olc.worldbank.org
- AYA (African Youth Agripreneure) – www.ayaplatform.org
These platforms transform the lives of smallholder farmers and traders in Uganda and beyond, though their uptake could be faster, especially in rural farming communities.
Tell us about yourself
Brasio Kawere Kigongo, a co-founder and Operations manager at Sparkle Agro-brands limited. We repurpose inedible waste milk Into Natural Mosquito Repellent lotions. I founded Sparkle in 2019 while still a student at Makerere University. I drew inspiration from personal tragedy and a deep commitment to empower smallholder farmers in Uganda. Born into a family of ten, my journey began amidst the challenges of mixed small-scale farming in the then rural Kitende, Uganda.
Where do you pick inspiration for creating the natural mosquito repellent?
Early in my life, my eldest sister, Dorah, succumbed to malaria-induced anemia at the age of 12. This loss ignited a lifelong mission, and I dreamed of finding solutions to alleviate the financial struggles of my family and countless farmers.
My pursuit of change led me to Makerere University for A Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture, where I delved into the intricacies of agriculture. Here, I uncovered the harsh reality faced by small dairy farmers, which sparked the birth of Sparkle Agro-Brands Ltd. We repurpose surplus milk into Natural mosquito repellent, empowering farmers and protecting children from malaria.
Our products obtained the prestigious UNBS standard certification in 2023. We have served our solution to over 10,000 students attending schools within wakiso District and have repurposed 1250liters of inedible milk sofar from 30 farmers and 3 small fresh milk dairies.
We also educate small dairy farmers on optimal livestock nutrition and milk handling practices. We work diligently to boost milk volumes and improve milk handling methods, offering a path to increased income.
On 6th of June 2023, I participated in the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) training organized by the Agribusiness Development Center (ADC). The training proved to be a profound learning experience for both my team and me. It provided us with invaluable insights into impact reporting aligned with rigorous ESG standards. Additionally, the program facilitated connections that not only expanded our access to cost-effective ingredient sourcing channels but also integrated us into the thriving ADC accelerator agribusiness community.
What are the future plans?
With a keen eye for better enterprise governance, we envision expanding sales to 500,000 students in 2024-2025. We are developing an application that not only streamlines milk collection but also provides dairy farmers with a platform to find markets for their fresh milk. Additionally, we plan to acquire a lactic acid extractor. This strategic move will enhance our ability to extract lactic acid from milk, opening up new opportunities for value addition and diversification of their product range.
We seek to build strategic partnership with agencies such as Heifer International, SNV, GIZ, ABi, USAID to amplify our efforts through, connecting us to their communities of smallholder dairy farmers who need our services as well as to their enterprise acceleration packages of visibility and investment.
Hey Juliet, what are your full names and responsibility at ADC?
Juliet Winifred Amono-Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning officer.
What makes you fit for such a very tough job description?
I hold a Bachelor of Science in Quantitative Economics from MUK (Makerere University) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Monitoring & Evaluation from UMI (Uganda Management Institute).
With extensive knowledge of data collection and analysis techniques, am able to identify the potential impacts and outcomes of different strategies. I can recommend relevant training and learning opportunities to improve the process, communicate effectively and deliver reports to the senior management at various stages. I also possess professional knowledge of using statistical packages like STATA, SPSS, Epi-info, Epi-data, Excel and MS Office applications. Working well in a team, receiving and sharing information are some of the things i bring to ADC.
What inspires you to do what you do at ADC?
The impact ADC creates in the communities through the Farmer-based organizations we work with has been a great motivation for me. Whenever I go for field visits to some of the FBOS we work, there is a smile on my face because I find out that there are many improvements in production, savings, access to finance, and marketing skills. These usually energize me to wake up and impact lives.
What life’s inspiration motto?
“Opportunities don’t happen, we create them”
In late March of this year, Paul Van Apeldoorn became the Board Chairperson of ADC. He currently works with Rabobank Wholesale & Rural Department and has previous experience in Uganda, having worked with dfcu as Executive Director and Chief Transformation Officer. Additionally, he was one of the initial Board members of ADC when it was established by Rabo Foundation and dfcu Limited in 2017 to foster agribusiness bankability.
While on his visit, he engaged with key stakeholders to gather insights on our interventions and met with the ADC team to gain a deeper understanding of our processes and capabilities. By physically connecting with our team and experiencing their work environment, he was able to encourage them to leverage our strengths – which stem from our founders, ownership structure, and collective industry experience – to maximize our potential.
During his visit, we had a chance to sit down with him.
Congratulations on your new position as the Board Chairperson of the Agribusiness Development Centre ADC! Please introduce yourself and share with us a little bit about your background and experience.
Thank you! My name is Paul Van Apeldoorn, and I work with Rabobank Wholesale & Rural Department. I am familiar with Uganda, having worked with dfcu as Executive Director and Chief Transformation Officer some years ago. I was also one of the inaugural Board members of ADC when it was founded by Rabo Foundation and dfcu Limited in 2017 for the purposes of promoting agribusiness bankability.
What strategies do you envision could steer ADC towards being the preferred Business Development Services Partner in promoting Agricultural Transformation in Uganda?
Last year, ADC launched her Strategic Plan under the Stewardship of my predecessor, Ms. Madelon Pfeiffer (the Chair of ADC then), and two key strategic objectives to be highlighted here are:
- Sustaining ADC’s operations both at institutional and partner level
- Growing ADC’s Business Innovatively as the only way to scale operations
Of course, the above two require opening up to more collaborative approaches than we had in the past, and we have, to date, worked to bring over four such partnerships on board.
How do you plan to engage with key stakeholders?
I have already commenced engaging key stakeholders through a series of meetings, but also, within our Annual Workplan, we have scheduled events that my colleagues and or myself shall attend in collaboration with partnerships made and prospected.
Finally, what message would you like to send to the team at Agribusiness Development Centre?
My visit allows me to get a good appreciation of our interventions, how we go about them and the potential we have as team ADC. More importantly, it allows me to touch base with the team physically, better appreciate their working environment and encourage them to leverage our key strengths by nature of our founders/structural ownership and combined experience in the sector to fulfil our potential.
The training sessions for the first group of entrepreneurs in agribusiness has kicked off following the successful launch of the Business Accelerator Program.
Business Accelerator Program, a brainchild of the Agribusiness Development Centre (ADC) powered by dfcu limited and Rabo foundation will help Agribusinesses to get out of the ideation phase and offer them a business acceleration opportunity.
Ruth Asasira, the manager women in of Business and special programs said the program is aimed at supporting and empowering entrepreneurs in the Agri-business in the country. The business Acceleration Program (BAP) targeted for women-led agribusinesses will build their capacity and investment readiness to access financing from investors and financial institutions.
“We are working to ensure sustainability in the agribusiness space. Look for and address challenges affecting women in business. This cohort is aimed at reaching out to enterprises led and owned by women in the agribusiness space. The Agribusiness, we mean the whole value chain from production, processing, marketing, supply chain, export and others,” she said “We shall help the participants understand the basic management of agribusiness, the risks involved and mobiles capital and financing and market linkages for them. We are looking at empowering entrepreneurs and their agri-businesses; create an enabling environment that can facilitate financing for their businesses and other practices like good governance that can influence the growth of their businesses,” she said
William Sekabembe, the Bank’s Chief Commercial Officer said, “dfcu has made investments in capacity building programs that are customized to address the unique challenges commonly faced by women entrepreneurs. We have also created opportunities and access to funding.”
Since the inception of the Women in Business Program has registered over 80,000 women and positively impacted over 30,000 more. When dfcu Rabo Bank set up the Agribusiness Development Center, our goal was to create self-sufficiency.
The program will enable 350 agribusinesses to become self-sufficient and create at least 350 new jobs, Link at least 50 percent of these agribusinesses to affordable Green Financing, technical assistance and markets.
She said for the next two years, the programs will be held under the themes which include; key value chains; greening agribusinesses; Oil and Gas opportunities for Agribusinesses; Youth in agribusiness with the first cohort premised on a theme of gender inclusivity in agribusiness development.
Following the successful launch of the Business Accelerator Program (BAP), dfcu Bank and the Agribusiness Development Center (ADC) have officially this morning kicked off training of the first cohort of the Program’s successful business owners.
Attended by over 30 Women-owned agribusinesses, the event was officiated by William Sekabembe, dfcu Bank’s Executive Director and Chief Commercial Officer.
A brainchild of The Agribusiness Development Centre powered by dfcu limited and Rabo Foundation, the Business Accelerator Program is a 4-month program focused on the growth of agribusiness enterprises that have moved from the ideation stage and are ready for scale.
The program seeks to enable 350 agribusinesses (40% women-led) to become self-sufficient & create at least 350 new jobs in the following categories: Agro Marketing, Processing, Production; Agro Forestry; Agro Tourism and Agri- support services like Agritech; Veterinary; Input supply; Extension Service.
The training, which shall run for 4 months starting today (11th October 2022), will utilise a visual modelling method known as The Business Model Canvas (BMC) – an excellent strategic management thinking tool that helps entrepreneurs in planning and developing new or redesigning existing business models – to build competitive business models.
At the end of the 4 months, the participants shall have acquired among others, the skills & tools to support in Business strategic positioning & Business model validation, Branding, Accounting and Tax Advisory as well as Linkages to affordable financial services.
Addressing the participants, dfcu Bank Executive Director and Chief Commercial Officer William Sekabembe noted that Business Acceleration Program (BAP) will build the capacity and investment readiness of its beneficiaries, enabling them to access financing from investors and financial institutions.
“Literature shows that women in Uganda make up to 52% of the labour force and are an important talent to help Uganda meet its development goals, especially in entrepreneurship and micro, small and medium enterprises growth. However, it is generally known that women face more challenges than men in starting, managing, and growing their enterprises as they are more likely to be impeded by a lack of the necessary capacities, skills, and resources. To this end, dfcu has worked closely with ADC to create a Business Accelerator Program whose main objective is to support businesses like yours to improve and attract the necessary market and financial linkages for growth and sustainability,” he said.
“Since its inception, dfcu Bank has made continuous commitments to support a wide base of customers that include SMEs, women entrepreneurs, Investment Clubs. The Bank’s Women in Business Program proposition which among others, serves women employed in agribusiness as a key focus area has registered over 80,000 clients with over 25,000 of them benefiting from the capacity building sessions and over 6,000 women accessing financing through the dfcu WiB loans,” Sekabembe added.
The Business Accelerator Program alumni will also benefit from the dfcu Bank Small and Medium enterprise (SME) agribusiness value proposition which includes affordable transactional banking, financing as well as other capacity building programs.
In response to the demands of farmers and exporters of coffee and cocoa, the Agribusiness Business Development Centre (ADC) and SEATINI have just finished two days of training on price risk management. ADC hosted 40 representatives of farm-based organizations from various parts of the East, West, and Central regions. The training focused on the market fundamentals of demand and supply.
The participants of the training had a chance to get an in-depth market analysis from the ADC business advisors, who emphasized the need for traders to always give updates on the ground with respect to logistics management to earn the trust of their contractors.
Roland Ainebyona Rwambuka business advisor ADC,” The farmers are exposed to a number of risks both internal and external. This training is to enhance their capacity to come up with strategies and tools to use to mitigate the risks to improve their efficiency. There is no business without risk therefore the role of the farmers is to be well prepared to mitigate these risks. The world coffee production for 2022/23 is forecast to rebound by 7.8 million bags from the previous year to 175 million, due primarily to Brazil’s Arabica crop entering the on-year of the biennial production cycle.
Brendah Akankunda from SEATINI, who is the main partner during this PRM training, says, “Their main concern is to make sure there are fair prices for the farmers, there are no violations of rights along the value chains, but importantly to encourage value addition because Uganda has been trapped at the lower end of the chain.”
Throughout our various engagements with stakeholders, we have seen the need for capacity building and this training is addressing that” The main objective of ADC’s work is to make agribusiness self-sufficient and profitable.
Nassaga Investment Ltd.’s Wataaka Charles tells the story of how their coffee was rated as the best but was not being sold on the global market.
“For me, I am a typical farmer which means I understand things at a local level, and yet as a leader of the organization, I need to be getting market for the coffees that we are producing. We were operating like an island but during the first training of the ADC, opened my eyes to how to negotiate for international markets and learnt how to coordinate and network with other coffee producers, in fact from the training in March, we got a buyer who desired to buy our coffee and we were to negotiate and understand the incoterms that secured us a good deal.” I appeal to the ADC and SEATINI with other stakeholders to expand this training to our regions.
At a momentous event held on Friday, 36 Agribusiness entrepreneurs celebrated their graduation from the 2nd and 3rd cohorts of the Business Accelerator Program (BAP). This transformational program, implemented by Agribusiness Development Centre (ADC) in collaboration with GOPA Worldwide Consultants and powered by dfcu Limited and Rabo Foundation, aimed to equip participants with essential business skills and mentorship to drive investor attractiveness, optimize operations, enhance marketing, and seize networking opportunities.
Launched in February 2023, the 2nd and 3rd cohorts of the Business Accelerator Program saw active participation from 110 participants representing 59 enterprises. Throughout the intensive training and mentorship sessions, the program focused on propelling agribusinesses from ideation phase to sustainable growth, ultimately attracting markets and funding for their operations.
ADC, in partnership with dfcu Limited and Rabo Foundation, initiated the Business Accelerator Program in 2018, seeking to support agribusinesses in unlocking their full potential and fostering growth and sustainability. The recent graduation ceremony at dfcu Bank’s Head Offices in Nakasero marked a significant milestone in the entrepreneurs’ journey towards success.
Addressing the graduates as the guest of Honor, Geraldine Ssali Busuulwa, the Permanent Secretary of Uganda Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives, emphasized the importance of returning to the cooperative model to facilitate mass production. She encouraged investment in decontamination technology and improved packaging for agricultural products, while stressing the need for affordable credit access to ensure sustainable growth for farmers.
Ms. Josephine Mukumbya, the Executive Director of ADC, expressed her gratitude to all stakeholders, including GIZ, GOPA Worldwide Consultants, ECOS (funded by GIZ), and dfcu Bank, for their invaluable partnership and unwavering support in empowering agribusinesses to achieve their growth objectives.
Speaking at the award event, Charles Mudiwa, CEO of dfcu Bank, underscored the significance of investing in agribusiness to secure food supply for humanity. He encouraged entrepreneurs to think of large-scale production and emphasized the need to find markets for their products.
Mudiwa also challenged the entrepreneurs on the issue of finding markets. He mentioned that in addition to financing agricultural projects, dfcu has recently announced a partnership with Rabo Bank and Master Card to create a platform for agribusiness entrepreneurs to have access to markets for their products. Mudiwa also highlighted dfcu‘s recent partnership with Rabo Bank and Mastercard, which will create a platform for agribusiness entrepreneurs to access markets and further their growth. He said, “It is important to invest in Agribusiness because food supply is very important for the existence of humanity.”
He further highlighted that it is important for farmers to think of large-scale production saying, “It is good to start small, but we have to grow and become big producers.”
Karim Boven, the ADC patron, and Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands commended the pivotal role of farming in wealth creation and propelling Uganda’s economy to new heights. dfcu Bank has a long history of supporting the agricultural sector as evidenced by its diverse initiatives, such as Harvest Money, Best Farmers Awards, and patronage of the Agribusiness Development Centre. The Bank has forged strategic partnerships with Mastercard, Rabo Partnerships, the Royal Dutch Embassy, Aceli Africa and GOPA – to drive skilling of its staff as well as various players in the agribusiness value chain.
Through these initiatives and partnerships, dfcu Bank continues to pave the way for a sustainable and prosperous future for Uganda’s agricultural landscape.