Over 100 farmer groups set to benefit from 10 billion shilling fund

(From left) The managing director of dfcu Bank Juma Kisaame, ADC’s Anja de Feijter, Ambassador Henk Jan Bakker, state minister for co-operatives Frederick Ngobi, Jimmy Mugerwa and chief executive officer of Rabobank Foundation Pierre Van Hedel cutting the cake during the opening of the agribusiness centre at Kampala Serena Hotel on November 29.

Over 100 farmer groups dubbed farmer-based organisations (FBOs) countrywide that have the potential to contribute to the agricultural value chain are to benefit from the sh10.08b fund ($2.8m) obtained by Agribusiness Development Centre (ADC).

This, according to ADC executive director, Anja de Feijter will improve their operations and ultimately become bankable.

She said the organisations will receive the technical support, training on financial literacy and choice of enterprise.

The development was announced during the official launch of ADC at Kampala Serena Hotel.

The money was injected into the organisation by dfcu Bank and Rabobank Foundation in the Netherlands and the fund is set to benefit farmers for the next five years.

Feijter explained that ADC business advisory team is currently pre-visiting over 100 farmer based organisation’s (FBO’s) countrywide and that since October, 70 FBOs have been selected to receive the training skills in governance, financial management, financial literacy, marketing and risk assessment

With these skills, the farmer based operations will continue to grow their operations in ways that are of benefit to both them and the wider communities,” she noted, adding that ADC which started operations in October this year has skilled 44 farmer leaders from 20 FBOs from Lira, Dokolo, Kole, Alebtong and Oyam with skills in governance.

DFCU’s board chairperson Jimmy Mugerwa commended the efforts being taken by the farmer based organisations to acquire finances through forming groups.

Agriculture is the number one breadwinner for our country and there is a need for collective effort to support it. By facilitating ADC in its operations dfcu and Rabobank are building capacity for the farmers to access much needed financial services, he said.

He added: dfcu already provides tailor-made products for the farmers and with the capacity building delivered through ADC the smallholder farmers will be more eligible for financing from commercial banks.

They will also be better placed to increase productivity and possibly embrace commercial farming which is more profitable at household and national level.

The ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Uganda Henk Jan Bakker noted that lack of skills is the major deterrent to work with smallholder farmers, hence the need to train and educate them in vocational training.

Allow me to make a reference to the situation in my home country. Educating and training of farmers has been one of the key elements in the successful development of the agricultural sector in Netherlands. Agricultural education and training has developed close farmers in partnership with the private sector, he stated.