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29 Enterprises gain practical skills from JKCC Processing Facility at Nucafe, Namanve Courtesy of dfcu Bank & ADC

Man Jose Kayima

dfcu Bank in partnership with the Agribusiness Development Centre (ADC) sponsored more than 29 enterprises that took part in the second and third cohorts of its Business Accelerator Program for a Peer Learning Visit at JKCC General Trading Limited, an enterprise known for its steady growth in the coffee industry. This initiative was aimed at providing the participants with valuable insights into effective implementation of the concepts studied throughout their 3-month training period during the Business Accelerator Program, ultimately fostering the growth and success of their business ventures.

The Business Accelerator Program (BAP) is an initiative of the Agribusiness Development Centre powered by dfcu Limited and Rabo Foundation, with GOPA Worldwide consultants as implementing partners.

This 2-year project is aimed at increasing the competitiveness of 1,000 Ugandan SMEs, creating 3,000 jobs, and improving employment situations of 22,000 people, by focusing on equipping agricultural entrepreneurs with the necessary knowledge and resources to thrive in the industry. The Program utilizes a multi-dimensional approach which combines training, mentoring, coaching and technical assistance in topics crucial for growth.

The participants represent a diverse range of the agricultural value chain, including Food & Drink Processing, Fish farming, Food & Fruit exporting, Poultry farming, Honey processing, Bio Research, to mention a few.

This Business Accelerator Program is in line with the national program of Enhancing the Competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises (ECOS), which is funded by the Deutsche Gesellschafts fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

Ruth Asasira, dfcu Bank’s Manager Women in Business and Special Program said the peer learning visit was intended to give the participants practical appreciation of what they have been learning through in the classroom training sessions.

She stated that at the end of this visit, the participants would be able to use the learnings and systems from JKCC for their own businesses. One of the objectives of the Business Accelerator Program is that the enterprises that go through this program can be self-sufficient, scale and grow. “You cannot achieve these without having clear systems in place and we’re confident that this training will be a source of practical, useful information,” she said.

Josephine Mukumbya, Executive Director at ADC said: “By connecting the participants with a peer enterprise that has achieved notable success, we aim to empower our participants with real-life knowledge and inspire them to implement innovative practices within their own ventures. This experience will contribute to their growth and position them for greater success in the agricultural industry.”

During this peer learning visit, the participants had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the operations and practices of the peer enterprise, gaining firsthand experience of successful strategies employed in the industry.

Akampulira Stephen, the Manager Exports and Logistics at JKCC highlighted that coffee harvest and export handling require much care and attention. The company has invested in training farmers on pre- and post-harvest handling which has improved their coffee quality.

“We have taken them through the production process, packaging and exporting coffee. We have shown them how to store the coffee, arrange the warehouse among other things,” he said.

Nsubuga Samuel, Operations Manager, Mityana Women Maize Farmers Cooperative Society and one of the beneficiaries of the learning excursion noted that the visit to JKCC was an inspiration.

“Being able to benchmark our own enterprise against a successful company in the same sector will help improve our own. I mostly admire the way JKCC has empowered the farmers who are important in the value chain system in their business. This will guarantee continuity and quality and I hope to impart the same to the way our Cooperative Society does its work.”

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