Blog by Israel Bionyi, Netherland
In our trip we visited three areas: Dipanda, Ekona and Muyuka. We drew the following learnings from our trip:
We found women agripreneurs leading the cassava value chain from production, processing to marketing, using traditional methods. Their helpers group: ‘Sisters in Need’ developed a cassava business that helps them to create revenue for their families and for children’s education. Participants shared their experience from Antigua, Germany and Netherlands to respond to farmer’s query on financial mechanisms to facilitate processing, transportation and marketing. A follow up action will see participants and farmers exchanging via emails to share resources and linkages on funding mechanisms.
RAS service could play an additional role in helping agripreneurs establish businesses and learning through the process. An example is that the ‘Village Bank’ in Dipanda included extension workers in project funding support. A farmer, Nakanyi Christina Tanyi, received funding and coaching from extension and improved on his livelihood, rearing pigs and expanding the business.
From the visit, we found RAS is already playing an important role to foster agripreneurship in rural areas. More work is needed to help farmers access funding, develop processing mechanisms and build businesses. RAS could help agripreneurs prioritize production, understand market variability, improve saving and strategise production.