KAMPALA — The Agribusiness Development Centre (ADC), a financial literacy training centre for Farmer Based Organisations (FBOs) has put together a 3-year work plan that seeks to improve social entrepreneurship.
The strategic plan launched on Thursday, June 2, according to Ms. Josephine Mukumbya, the Agribusiness Development Centre Executive Director, will be a big boost in the area of job creation and increased income generation, while enhancing the much sought-after social-economic transformation.
“We plan increase our investment in the whole agricultural value chain by supporting groups and farmers on the best financial management, agronomy, price risk management, value addition, and export procedures while addressing their financial needs,” she said, emphasizing that Agribusiness Development Centre’s capacity building interventions in the agricultural sector were necessary given the current high levels of unemployment.
Ms. Mukumbya was speaking to reporters after presenting the strategic plan to a group of stakeholders during an event held at dfcu head offices in Kampala.
The Agribusiness Development Centre was initiated in 2017 and is powered by the Rabo Foundation and dfcu Bank.
“If we give the knowledge in areas of record-keeping, financial literacy, especially financial management in areas of agronomic practices, we should be able to see more of youth engaged in this area. We should even give them the information, guidance, and incentives that actually pull them to be engaged in this sector. We are looking at having a quarter of a million in terms of beneficiaries by the end of the strategic plan and we are looking at over 1000 direct jobs right from the enterprises themselves,” Ms. Mukumbya said.
In the 2022 – 2024 strategic investment plan, Agribusiness Development Centre plans to support business in Cocoa and Coffee, Banana, cereals and oilseeds, Dairy and Livestock in areas of value addition, mixed cropping, and export, and market changing dynamics.
“We want to increase income and we are targeting to see a 10% increase over the next three years,” Mukumbya said.
Women and youth
“For at least 50% of the trained parties, we will want to see women and youth well included. We want to see that there are more women in leadership, a percentage of 30% is what we’re looking at. We are currently showing baselines that are under 10%. In that regard, we want to introduce green financing. We are starting humbly but we believe this is an area that has so much potential for growth. A number of enterprises that would want to link through our business accelerator programs are identified. And in terms of self-sufficiency, if 50% of the trained enterprises are self-sufficient, we envisage leveraging over 10 fold and want to look at about USD 30 million in funding towards them, ” Ms. Mukumbya said, noting that the agricultural sector in Uganda can only be transformed through innovation and collaboration.
Mr. James Ssemwanga, an agronomist and a board member of the Agribusiness Development Centre, said the three-year strategic plan is designed to leverage the funding from current funders to mobilize some more to scale and sustain operations for deeper impact.
“ADC’s ambition is to achieve a growth trajectory in the medium and long term by continuing to build capacity that delivers financial, social, and environmental benefits to her target customer segment,” Mr. Ssemwanga said.
Job creation, funding agricultural sector
On his part, Mr. Mathias Katamba, the managing director and chief executive officer of dfcu Bank said: “We are responding to a government call to the private sector to support agriculture. One of the ways we are doing it is through our partnership with Rabo Bank and ADC aimed at transforming the agricultural sector”.
Katamba said Agriculture is one of the leading employers of Ugandans and that there’s a need for collective effort to support it.
“By facilitating ADC in its operations, dfcu Bank and Rabo bank are building capacity for the farmers to access much-needed financial services,” he said, adding that:
“dfcu Bank will continue to provide 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,” he added.
ADC envisions promoting self-sufficiency as an effective tool to transform the agricultural sector in Uganda. This can be achieved by strengthening Farmer Based Organizations in respect of efficiency and creating economies of scale, in order to make them profitable, sustainable, and bankable enterprises that are able to provide efficient and effective services to their farmers.