Farmers’ Groups from ten districts in Uganda have been trained in agroecological agricultural business skills. The training is aimed at improving their business capacity and to improve their economic environment.
The training which focused mainly on small-scale farmers, and widely targeted women farmers groups, empowered them to create agroecological businesses that promote environmental conservation and drive economic growth.
While opening the training in Kampala, the Vice Chairperson of the Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF) Uganda, Margareta Masudio said farmers need more financial support and business skills.
“As ESAFF, we have developed the Agroecological Business Hub. We expect the Hub to change the mindset of small-scale farmers. When the farmers embrace these training skills they have been empowered with, it will help them make money from the agricultural sector,” Masudio said at the training.
The business hub responds to the demand by the farming members of ESAFF to build their business management capacity for organic agriculture practices.
Among the key issues that were covered during the training were agroecological business ideas, enterprises selection, record keeping, budgeting, marketing and financial risk management among others.
“At ESAFF Uganda, we intend to build the capacities of several small-scale farmers enterprises to increase their profitability hence improving their livelihood” Masudio added.
The Agroecology Business Hub supports the farmers in developing business concepts and practices that small-scale farmers use to enhance their livelihoods. It also serves as a platform for information sharing and bringing farmers together to exchange opinions, experiences and business innovation ideas.
Speaking at the same event, Andrew Adem, the Programs Manager at ESAFF Uganda said many farmers have been active in producing agricultural products but they are still under the poverty cycle.
Adem said this is so because the farmers have failed to come up with agricultural-related enterprises. A majority of them are not informed about agricultural business enterprise selection.
“Many of the farmers have been exploited because they lack information. As ESAFF, we want to close that gap by building the capacity of the farmers with information related to business development and management,” Adem said.
Adding: “Information is a key factor in business development that is why ESAFF is committed to supporting the farmers to come up with business Enterprises.”
The farmers’ group that benefited from the training includes Ekonouns from Amurai district dealing in Soybeans, Barodilo Farmers Group from Apac dealing in Tomatoes, Mubende Women Agro Processors dealing in Banana Wine and Mushroom Productions among other farmers groups from various districts.
James Serunjogi, a farmer from Cecilia Community Agroecology School in Kasese district said many farmers have been ignorant about enterprise selection and planning.
“We never used to plan for our business or even keep records we were disorganized with this training we expect to enhance our business,” he said.