High Flyers Program Immerses Agri-Business Youth
ICCO’s High Flyers program conducted practical on-farm training sessions for 80 smallholder farmers with businesses along cassava and piggery value chains in Nebbi district. The trainings, which were conducted on the 23rd and 24th of January 2020, aimed to promote experiential learning for agripreneurs in northern Uganda.
The practical sessions, which were facilitated by ICCO’s agronomy specialist in Uganda, Mr. Dominic Twesige, were key in building agripreneurs’ hands-on knowledge and skills in handling and nurturing their business products from inception to market stage. From breeds of pigs and varieties of cassava inputs to myths and negative practices that hamper the success of agribusiness, participants benefited from insights in surmounting business obstacles.
Peer to Peer Knowledge
The training also provided an avenue for discussion among the agripreneurs and facilitated peer to peer exchange of knowledge. Farmers, some at micro and others at medium scales of production were able to interact through a question and answer session that evened their knowledge base on the various stages of production, processing and marketing for the two value chains.
Cassava farmers benefited from experiences shared by Moses Okwonga, a renowned cassava entrepreneur in Nebbi district, who through the High Flyers mentorship program regularly provides practical support to agripreneurs in the establishment and escalation of their business objectives. He emphasized the importance of proper planning and relationship building in creating a scalable business.
“It is important to decide which direction you plan to go with your business and pursue all the opportunities available there. This type of focus will bring you into contact with resources, both human and otherwise, that will open doors for you to grow your business,” he said.
Pig producers on the other hand visited young entrepreneur Innocent Mungujakisa’s piggery project in Parombo sub county at the height of a swine fever outbreak. They learned from his cautious, conservative style of rearing pigs, how to protect their herd from risks. A participant stated:
“When we were asked to wash hands and dip our feet in a solution before approaching the pig sty, I realized that the reason why I lost 10 pigs during this outbreak was due to laxity in security. I tend to allow all family members into the sty to handle the pigs.”
High Flyers Program
The three-year High Flyers program aims to support high-growth potential young entrepreneurs in northern Uganda to receive quality, growth-oriented support, scale up sustainable businesses and drive waged job creation in local communities.It is implemented by ICCO in partnership with Youth Business International (YBI) and Enterprise Uganda, and funded by the Argidius Foundation.