KAMPALA – The Makerere University Business School (MUBS) Principal Prof. Waswa Balunywa has revealed that the poverty in the country is a result of the inability to transform agriculture ventures into commercial enterprises.
He made the revelation at the online award ceremony of the Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness competition 2019 co-hosted by MUBS and Agripreneurship Alliance Switzerland.
According to Prof. Balunywa, the country faces a challenge of exporting many of the products yet Uganda is basically an agricultural country.
“The bad thing is we rely on God’s will. We don’t have any irrigation. The rains fail, we have a drought and we cannot irrigate,” he said.
He however said the way forward to this country is turning agriculture into commercial enterprise, and announced that MUBS being an academic research institution was ready to lead the charge.
“If farmers turn into enterprenurs, we are going to see alot of increase in productivity, we are going to see alot of saving in our farmers and alot of income,” said Prof. Balunywa.
He noted that when programs like these turn up, there is light at the end of the tunnel adding that the program needs to be popularized so much so that more people are brought on board.
“MUBS in terms of going ahead, will continue to popularize the program, will continue to train people in agribusiness. Our intention all along was to do a degree in agripreneurship but we can’t start up a degree because of the many regulations,” he revealed.
26 students participated and successfully trained in the Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness course for 10 weeks.
Alma’s Sweet Honey emerged winner and was awarded 1,000 USD to boost their business plan.
Speaking at the ceremony, Steven Carr CEO, Agripreneurship Alliance appreciated MUBS for the partnership and promised to work with them in the future in different projects.
He said the Agripreneurship Alliance focuses on the agri food sector in Africa.
“The key reason for that is because there’s massive opportunity for people to enter the space,” he said.
He added that, “We had to look for delivery channels, how we can share messages and make sure students can start with their entrepreneurship journey, to get new skills and to be able to get challenges and get feedback as well as start developing their own businesses.”
Ms Diana Ntamu the Director Entrepreneurship innovation and incubation center said the Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness program is not any different from what they do at the center.
The center was transformed into an Entrepreneurship center because it was reflected that entrepreneurship is everywhere she said.
“Under our business training program,we are training entrepreneurs, we are training them, we don’t use one approach,we use several of them. That’s one way of identifying an entrepreneur working with them, coaching them, training them and mentoring them,” said Ntamu.
She added that, “We have a number of people who have ideas but don’t know what to do with them to take them to a different level.”