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Uganda: Dutch Help for Ugandan Agri-Entreprenuers

Posted by sonimanish Published on Tue, 2015-06-09 18:01
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News article

Date:
Tue, 2015-06-09 (All day)
Location:
Uganda
Wired:
allafrica.com

The Dutch non-governmental organization, ICCO in partnership with FITS (Uganda) Limited, have launched an Agribusiness Innovation Challenge to encourage agri-entrepreneurs in Uganda.

ICCO is the Dutch abbreviation for interchurch organization for development cooperation.

The challenge will involve awarding the best three agri-entrepreneurs with cash prizes to enable them replicate their models countrywide so that it benefits both the agri- entrepreneurs and small holder farmers in the country.

Humphrey Mutasa the Business Development services Manager at Fits Uganda said many Small and Medium Agri -Business enterprises have been initiated by Ugandan Entrepreneurs but majority have failed to progress due to lack of funds and technical Business Skills to run such enterprises but with the coming up of the challenge fund this will close some of the Technical funding gaps.

He asked Ugandan Agri- Business Entrepreneurs to apply and participate in the inniciative, elaborating on the criteria which one must meet before applying to participate in the challenge.

Mutasa said the enterprises must be recently registered within three years of operation.

Business enterprises should also prove the potential of having positive impact on small holder farmers in their value addition chain among other things and being environmentally friendly.

"It's from the many application submitted to FITs Uganda where we expect to select 10 promising Enterprises, these will be supported to develop their Business Concept further with Experts and mentors and out of the Ten we shall select the Top three most promising business, among them will win cash prizes of Between 500 to 20,000 Euros (about USD $ 38,850)and receive Business Incubation support through the ICCO Agri- Business Booster for period of up to 6 months," Mutasa explained to the Media in Kampala During the Launch of the Innovation challenge.

Application to participate in the challenge are open from June to August 2015 and Intending applicants can send their application to FITS Uganda offices and if their Agribusiness Enterprises happen to be among the best three they will have the chance of winning challenge prizes.

In the challenge the first runner-up will receive 20,000 euro or $22,200 dollars the second 10,000 euro or $11,100dollars and the third will receive 5,000 Euros or $5,550 dollars respectively.

Dr. David Kamukama ICCOs regional Business Advisor for both East and Central Africa said Innovative agri -Business (SME) plays the vital role in Improving the Livelihoods of small holder farmers through providing them directly with access to tools to increase their production in quantity or quality to extend harvest shelf life or to add value.

"As ICCO we are committed to transform the social lives of the local people and our main focus for the future is on Economic growth with responsibility. That is why we have come up with the Agri Business challenge. This challenge will improve the Uganda competitiveness in the Agribusiness sector which is in line with the Uganda National Development plan 2011/2014/2015 which aims to address structural bottlenecks in the Economy," Kamukama said .

ICCO is implementing the same challenges in other countries in Africa where they are operating. Some of the African countries where the Agribusiness Innovation challenge is duplicated include Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda in the East African community and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Sudan and Southern Sudan.

In Africa, ICCO is supporting programs in the areas of Food and Nutritional security, Basic Health and HIV/AIDS among other social programs. To achieve their objectives ICCO has been partnering with local organizations and consulting firms to implement their programs in the various countries where they are present.

For instance in Uganda to improve food and Nutritional safety, ICC is working with FITS Uganda in implementing many Agricultural related programs.