Zirobwe Agaliawamu Agribusiness Training Association is one of the private sector value addition actors and manages an integrated agricultural value chain for rice, soybeans, beans, maize grains and Horticulture with operations from procurement, bulking, cleaning, packaging, storage, and marketing from smallholder farmers to profitable markets.
The overall objective of the visit was to gain a better understanding of the current value addition sub-sector in the country and the challenges that hinder any meaningful development therein. The PCF Board also was to assess ZAABTA’s visibility, and mindset change and enhance ZAABTA as a pipeline and not a stop centre for those it accredits so as to avoid a clogged system to have a new value chain, actors/innovators.
- ZAABTA is one of the leading value addition actors in the country and has an alternative production and marketing strategy that has a better understanding of the rapidly changing agricultural food and food safety issues, consumer preferences and effective demand.
- The association has a good plan for the youths in this country as they are actively involved in their value chain at different stages. 40% of the out growers in horticulture are youths.
- ZAABTA provides small loans to farmers and those who need bigger amounts, ZAABTA refers them to Equity bank.
- Uganda has a surplus production of maize grain but the demand and consumption are too low. Kenya is the biggest market for Uganda maize.
- Farmers in horticulture require only 2-3 weeks to harvest. This explains why most youths in Zirobwe are in this sector other than grains.
- Both grain growers and those in horticulture suffer from a lack of adequate storage, preservation or packaging. This leads to abnormal flavour, colour, odour, or consistency, although these may not necessarily be harmful. Inadequate food storage facilities in particular cause a great deal – in many areas upwards of 20% – of food produced to be lost due to rodents, other pests and general deterioration before it reaches the consumer.
- Shoes and handbags are being made from the skin of pigs. The demand for skin is high in Kwale county in Kenya. That is where the industry that uses pig skin to make shoes is located in East Africa. However, most farmers of value chain actors in piggery don’t have the machine that removes the skin.
- The first machine to be installed by ZAABTA for processing grain was donated by President HE YKT Museveni in 2010. With that more machines were bought to improve value addition.