Government urged on agribusiness

Government has been challenged to prioritise support towards building agribusiness incubation centres, if productivity is to be boosted along the value chain.
Agribusiness incubation is meant for supporting innovative ideas into practical business realities, yet these are still very expensive for young entrepreneurs.

More profitable
Although government through the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) has come out to help innovative Ugandans through incubation, experts say more is needed countrywide to nurture the innovations.
“Support towards agribusiness incubation will make agriculture more profitable and attractive to the youth towards taking varied responsibilities along different nodes of the agriculture value chains,” said Joseph Nkandu, executive director, National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises (Nucafe).
He is also founder of the Consortium for Enhancing University of Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development (CURAD).

Success story
He was happy to note that the beneficiaries under CURAD have made products, which have become competitive on the market and striving to satisfy the demand.
“This is the typical success story on which government should ride to promote incubation across the country,” said Nkandu while touring the CURAD Agribusiness Incubator last week.
The facility is hosted at Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo.
It works in partnership with National Agricultural Research Organisation, NUCAFE, and Makerere University to impart practical skills to students, graduates, among others, as a way of encouraging development of agricultural value chains. Through this arrangement, incubatees get both financial and technology support to turn their agribusiness innovations and ideas into tangible and profitable commercial ventures.

Double the number
Apollo Segawa, managing director, CURAD, said in the last four years the facility has been in existence, there have been more than 200 incubatees.
CURAD is set to double the number of incubatees when their Sh350m agro-processing facility is established at the Kampala Industrial Development Park in Namanve.
Some of the innovations supported and developed under CURAD include: Tissue culture propagation, mushroom production, coffee liqueur, coffee roasting and fruit juice making.

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