By ABCafrica reporter
About 200 farmers from Lira District have benefited from a two-day agribusiness enterprise management training organized by Agribusiness Development Centre (ADC). Speaking at the closure of the training, Ms Anja de Feijter, the executive director ADC, said they are optimistic that the training will adequately empower farmers with financial knowledge, business management and marketing skills which lack in farmers in Northern Uganda. “We needed to provide these farmers under farmer organizations and small medium enterprises in the agricultural sector with financial literacy, business management and marketing skills which will positively impact in their different business enterprises,” Ms Anja said. She added: “Through our partnership with Rabobank Netherlands and dfcu Bank, we have invested in the process that we believe will change the trend of farming and agribusiness in this part of the country (Northern Uganda).”
Ms Margret Acen, a beneficiary, said she discovered that it was possible to store crop produce beyond one season and sell at better prices as well as seek better markets through uniform bargain.
“I previously would sell my crop produce immediately we harvest and before I get to the next planting season, there is no money to buy planting seeds but the lesson today has opened my eyes on the significance of good storage,” she said. She said middlemen always cheated them by dictating for them low prices compared to what they were supposed to get as final returns. Using a team business advisers, ADC plans to select existing farmer groups and train them, carryout regular follow-ups and make sure they are improving and practicing the concepts learnt, said Ms de Feijter. About $1m (Shs3.6b) has been sunk into the programme according to her. In an interview, Mr Godfrey Mundua, the dfcu Bank head of corporate and institutional banking, said they patterned with ADC and singled Lango region because it has many agricultural activities that are important to support. “Through the resource center, will be able as a bank to directly support these farmers with business loans and train them different financial management skills. We will also link them with bigger buyers just as we took them to Mt Meru Millers, one of our biggest clients,” Mr Mundua said. After concluding the training, ADC also launched its resource centre in Lira, a centre through which the farmers will directly have training and consultations with ADC expertise on agribusiness.