Birungi Korutaro on Opportunities in Agriculture

#360Mentor is a continuation of the #40DayMentor series. In this episode, Robert Kabushenga (RK) speaks to Birungi Korutaro (BK) on Opportunities in Agriculture.

RK: It is such a pleasure to be hosting you tonight on #360Mentor. When I shared your details people were asking me, who is she? Now you are here, speak for yourself.

BK: Thank you Robert, I am new on Twitter, I will learn my way around. So happy to be on spaces.

RK: What did you study?

BK: I am a statistician. I did a Bachelor’s of Statistics at Makerere

RK: University?

BK: Yes.

RK: aka Campus.

BK: Makerere University then I worked a couple of years for Shell Uganda. After 8 years with Shell I felt, this is not what I want to do for the rest of my life.

RK: Wow!

BK: I have the money, we had the best cars at that time. We were the ones happening because the market wasn’t liberalized so we were the ones everywhere.

RK: I just want to stop you there for a minute. Because some of the people who are listening to you are at a crossroads of their life. They are faced with either bad bosses or bad working conditions or just a crisis of who they want to be now. Which directions should their lives take?

BK: Hmm!

RK: You just said that you worked for Shell, it is a multinational company. You got the money, the future looks bright, you’ve got cars, everything. You’re the envy, I mean what led you to the point to question all this and to decide this isn’t for me? What was going in at the time that led you there?

BK: I cannot describe what it was. I would wake up in the morning and I was excited to go to work. So you have the car, you have a nice pay check, yes and in the end everything looks nice and rosy but you’re not happy.

So when I go to work I am doing the same routine. Shell was a retail company; I didn’t know them. I did know what I wanted but I knew for sure this is not where I wanted to be. Where you should just follow processes, do things without question.

RK: Governance

BK: You must follow guidelines, there are guidelines with the large multinationals, things must follow guidelines.

RK: hmm!

BK: So I thought no, there must be other ways you can do things. I didn’t know how.

RK: There must be more to life.

BK: Yes, there must be more to life after that, when I have finished will I just sit down in retirement saying that I just sat down. What I did was following processes, followed procedure and it was net income after the tax.

RK: It is called ticking boxes.

BK: Exactly Robert. Yes, you got the word.

RK: You were involved in box ticking activity

BK: Absolutely and even when it was valued. I just didn’t feel like that was what I was meant to be. Understanding your purpose. For me at that point I don’t know what my purpose was. For some people they wake up, they start as children and grow up. They know I want to become a doctor, and they are happy there. For me that wasn’t my path. So I had to navigate from different points, different careers, but have the courage to move

RK: Just help me, work with me here Birungi. Describe for me the mental process of trying to find your purpose. How did you? How did that whole exercise happen?

BK: So now I said there must be another way. Surely there must be another way Birungi can be happy. So I resigned from Shell.

I left, and people were like Birungi, how can you leave Shell? I mean it’s the best company! MTN at that time had just come in and those that were leaving Shell were going to MTN. So if you’re not going to MTN, where are you going?

RK. Did you know where you were going?

BK: No. I resigned and went to do an MBA

RK: Wow!

BK: I decided I was going to do an MBA and within that one-year sabbatical, I must find what I want.

RK. Wow!

BK: So the mission was that; on that journey of one year, I must discover what I want to do next

RK: Okay

BK: I went in, saying I want to go into finance. I am going to be a finance expert; I am going to be a financial analyst. You know I will be working in the banks. I will be looking and talking about auctions, derivatives. That’s where I thought

RK: Oh My God! You were determined.

BK: And then on the MBA, I started the courses and the different subjects exposed me. The good thing with the MBA I did at the University of Cape town, we studied seventeen subjects and so we had co courses and electives. It gave me an opportunity to explore and even then, even those that you did exams for were allowed to sit into others to find out whether it’s something you like.

So my purpose for the MBA wasn’t the MBA itself, the degree. No.

RK: Per say

BK: It was to find out what I want to do for the rest of my life

RK. And what better place to go through that than Cape Town, I mean really? Birungi, Wow! I would like to be in Cape Town and figure out where I want to be.

Anyway, so yes you were studying but I am still interested in this journey of self-discovery

BK: Anha

RK: So while you’re studying….

BK: I am looking. You see the experience you have now taken me through; of the Twitter experience. I went through another one of sitting down with young colleagues on the MBA that were typing away as the lecturer was speaking. Yet for me I was used to Makerere where they dictate. “The economy of Uganda, comma… and even lets you rest”

RK: And you even have a clip board and a fullscap

BK: Anha

BK: So I am now sitting in with these young ones, who are now like our children. Who are great with computers and don’t even look at the keyboard at that time. They are just typing and when they would finish the course / lesson they just send by email and say guys, on what slide, that’s the summary of the course.

RK: Wow

BK: For me, I am still trying to get the comma. I have missed out on a number of things. So it was a huge learning experience. I was exposed in many ways. But that was the beginning of understanding my purpose. I said no, I am sitting with these guys and I am even ten – fifteen years older than them. But, we are in the same market. I need to compete with these guys. So what must I do to be like them or even be better?

RK: Anha

BK: So one, you get the culture shock. South Africa at that time was not the South Africa now. It was seventeen years later. It was a culture shock but then not only as culture in terms of society but also culture in terms of learning experience. From then on I said no. If these kids can do it, even me, I can do it.

RK: You got the courage

BK: I got the courage, if they can do it. First of all I got into this program on merit. It wasn’t affirmative action or anything, merit. I did the GMAT, everything and I came up. So it means I am brilliant as they are. I may not have been exposed as they were. So what do I do? Where do I start now? So I went into voice clinic. I learnt how to speak. I went into read speed reading, I learnt read speak reading. All that, as we were in these courses. I told you I did seventeen

RK: You’re a student in addition to self-discovery and acquiring new skills.

BK:  Thank you very much. I am still asking myself, is this the course I want to be in? All that was happening so there was four hour of sleep at night. But I am practicing, I am learning.

RK: Anha

BK:  By the time I got half way of the program I was sure now, auctions, derivatives, financial markets, no. That’s not where I want to spend the rest of my life.

Strategic planning, corporate HR, no. That’s not what I want.

But I liked emerging enterprise consulting, we had a module called emerging enterprise consulting – enterprise for businesses. So that’s how I discovered my passion for enterprise business development.

RK: Okay

BK: That’s how I got my purpose. So that’s my purpose.

RK. So you came back from a fantastic holiday in Cape Town? Then where do you go next to work?

BK: On that program, the MBA program, we have companies that come to talk to us about what options and opportunities they have. That’s where I met Swiss contact.

RK: Okay

BK: So Swiss contact was one of the companies, the CEO of Swiss Development Aid came to talk to us. After that, I got my courage and went to talk to him and I said I liked what you talked about and what you’re doing in South Africa. Can I work for you? And he said yeah. I am looking for someone, someone who can come to work for us. A woman, a black woman. It would be good to have one on the team and I said yes, I am the perfect choice. He said send me your CV.

RK:  Alright

BK: So when I sent the CV, he told me, but you have no experience in development! How will I employ you? You have only Shell and statistics. You didn’t do anything remotely close to what you want to be in.

I said okay, this was a discussion that took six months, persistence. I would call him every week and him telling me call me next week, the other week. I would call. Eventually I said, if you’re not sure about what I can do for you let me volunteer.

RK: wow

BK: That’s what I also want, I really want people to know that sometimes you need to offer your services for free. So people can know what value you have.

RK: It opens the door. You just need to put one foot in the door

BK: Absolutely, he said come in. I want you to design for me a mentorship model for black businesses in the tourism sector in south Africa. I didn’t know what mentorship meant, I said I will do it.

RK: It’s called faith

BK: It was faith

RK: Oh you are too much

BK: So I got the contract and volunteered for three months and said the outcome of the three months I will give you the mentorship model

RK: Okay

BK: So one thing I also learnt, ask. I was in a class and we were 80 students.

RK: Say that again, the one thing about asking for our people. The one thing you need to learn is……..?

BK: Ask when you don’t know. Ask. Be humble. So I asked.

So I have this network of 80 people that I was in class with. So I say guys, where do I start with this mentorship thing?

And some say do this, the other one says do that, that one says get this book, go to the library.

This is me when I have finished the MBA. Some you are on email, some you meet when you go for drinks but you have a problem. You have a cross you are carrying. You have to deliver a model after three months

RK: It is called focus, even when you go for a drink you’re focused.

BK: Exactly, even when you go for a drink you sit, you sip a little bit, and then you ask. So anha, how does this happen?

So after three months Robert, I had completed the mentorship model and he was really impressed and at that time they were just giving me a pay just to cover my expenses, like transport just as a volunteer.

They give me a contract of five times that amount

RK: Hmm, wow

BK: So that’s how my journey into development started, somebody had the faith to believe in me and I had the courage to also take that opportunity. I also believed in myself. I said if these guys can do it, if I can sit down and type, then I can also sit and beat these students that type this fast.

And that’s the attitude I have taken everywhere.

RK: Okay so let’s come to Kilimo. So how do you end up in Kilimo Trust?

BK: That’s another one. I stayed in South Africa for close to 10 years

RK: 10 years! Okay fine maybe you’re right. You are there for 20 years where were you? Johannesburg or Cape town?

BK: Cape town. I started my own company and I started consulting and started supporting small businesses, working with entrepreneurs helping them in the tourism sector

RK: Okay yeah.

BK: So I started working with provisional government to map out tourism plans and Pathways to support tourism and black businesses.

So you know the black businesses in South Africa had been disadvantaged in many ways so now how do you get somebody who has invested in a property in the Township to convert that into a guest house and then put it in a path or a route as you would say the tourism route so that when somebody comes to think about it when they come to Kampala they are going to the gorillas but they can also pass through the lodge in Katwe or the Lodge in Ndeeba. So that’s what I did.

I did that for 10 years in that time that’s when I also did the PhD.

But after 10 years, that was 2009. There was the financial crisis, and Emerging Markets usually have large effects.

So by 2011 we started feeling it in South Africa. I’m in any other business for you to be successful you usually have a portfolio of government as your client. So the consultants if you have a huge portfolio as government. You are working for government then have the private sector and other sectors as clients then you are good to go.

So my income stream had a lot of government and so now with the financial crisis the country was going through a financial recession so we look at a lot of business opportunities. So I talked to a friend, I talked to a couple of friends. I have always kept in touch with my friends.

I talked to people like Allen, I talk to other guys like Stella who you know and I said thinking of come back and then also my parents and others said come back and serve your country.

RK: Our parents and their patriotism

BK: So I came back. So when I came back remember I had a company for 10 years in South Africa so I had to close that down.

When I left Uganda, remember I had been working for Shell for 8 years. So it’s now eighteen years I am in development so I have no networks. But then I have the people I know. I know Robert, I know Stella, I know Timothy, I know John. I sat down with Stella and Allen. So hi Allen, who do you know? I know Don. Don is even working in this environment go talk to him. Hi Don, how are you? I visited everyone within a space of three months and I go to know some of the best organizations that I am doing Regional work are like Kilimo Trust.

That was in 2012. I had opened a company in Uganda as well. I started Consulting, did some work for UNDP and a couple of other clients and then another opportunity again. It’s networks and I really want to tell those that are looking to build their careers that it’s really important to live a very good footprint everywhere you go. Where you left, all the people you know

RK: There is no alternative or substitute to a good name

BK: So whether it was in South Africa, whether it was in Shell I would live a good footprint. Just do your thing leave a good footprint and move on. Again my professor at South Africa happens to know Kilimo Trust.

So while I am in a conversation in South Africa on a holiday he says so how far have you gone with explaining your outreach in Uganda because you said you started a small company in Uganda and I said I want to go regional.

He said okay do you know a regional company called Kilimo Trust and I said yeah I also got to know that it’s one of the companies that are doing a lot of consultancy in agriculture. It is like would you mind going to agriculture? I said No. I couldn’t say no because my purpose is in supporting small businesses which ever sector it doesn’t matter. He said I know the CEO let me give him a call and that’s how I did my interview, I got on to the interview list and that’s how I entered. It’s Networks.

RK: Ok just help us understand because you have explained that you worked with small businesses, you walked with advancing businesses. What exactly does Kilimo Trust do?

BK: What Kilimo Trust seeks to do is, we seek to transform people’s lives through agri-business to create wealth creation. It’s wealth creation.

RK: I am here watching you with a very sharp eye because I am waiting to come to Kilimo. You first explain to me because I am sitting looking in the darkness at my matooke to see how Kilimo can help me.

BK:  How we do that simply; the thread that links everything we do is information.

What we have I market information, we know where the market opportunities are. We

know our food is produced were? Who wants to buy when they want to buy it, how do they want to buy it.

I can give you a simple example. I can tell you that Cafe Javas want Irish potatoes, frozen cuts. They call them frozen cuts and I will just give an arbitrary example and is that at every Cafe Javas, the want 10 sacks of chips.

They call them frozen cuts, cut the same size and the same variety. Many people don’t know that Irish potatoes have over 40 varieties and not ever variety can make chips

RK: The one that bakyiga grow makes chips

BK: So we have done the value chain, those Market Analytics. We have done for potatoes, maize, rice, sorghum. We have done those ones.

RK: Coffee, matooke, anything there?

BK: Yes, we have done coffee, so we understand who the buyers are and that’s the market so many people think that a Market is “obutale” The nakasero market, No.

A market is the buyer. Your consumer at that point. So we know who the buyers are and we have the information if who the buyers are. We know Cafe Javas wants ten bags. He comes down and sits with us and the people. I want to support farmers in Uganda but I can’t get the right potatoes, the right variety every day in my restaurants.

So how do I do that? So he has a problem, she is importing from Kenya or is importing from elsewhere and I am giving this as an example because Irish potatoes for value chain we do not have producers that is a fact in Uganda.

RK: Birungi, the guys in Kapchorwa are producing Irish potatoes. What is the big deal? Where is the disconnect?

BK: They put in one sack of 10 varieties. When they go to plants, they do not plant one variety. They do not use approved seeds so many people call you and say, Birungi I have so much maize here. I have so many Irish potatoes, help me. So you ask what variety do you have? I don’t know. So now the hotels whether it’s Cafe Javas or Serena, all they what is the Irish potatoes that makes the perfect chips and we can’t do that in Uganda.

RK: Because their clients will buy perfect chips

BK: There’s is not about caring whether the Ugandan farmer is better off or not. Him all he wants is to make his money.

RK: Finished. It’s not sentimental it’s purely business.

BK: There maybe benevolent interested in one hand but at the end of the day he has to make profits. We know who these buyers are and I have just given an example of Cafe Javas we know the hotels. How they are linked to tourism, we know the maize buyers, we know all that.

Usually and what is really constraining agriculture in East Africa is that people do not

know who those buyers are because of the information asymmetry. And then the buyers themselves do not know where the farmers are.

We as Kilimo who have been working in this market for fifteen years we know the farmers. We know what they are producing. We know what their capacities are. What we do is, we create those business to business connections. We call them linkages. So aIl people in Tanzania will tell you, I need maize. But, the maize that is produced in Tanzania is seasonal. Only season, but you guys have two seasons. Can you link me to farmers who will give me that maize at this price? And I want that maize from Uganda from July to December. From January up to July I don’t want. I won’t buy. Those are the kind of business linkages we create. So we bridge that information asymmetry. But now what we found Robert is that for you to move maize from Kasese to Tanzania is not about producing maize and putting it in the truck and it goes. There are other things that must happen so there is contract farming arrangements that we do. There are those business-to-business linkages, use contract farming and purely what we do is that we facilitate the process but the processors or the traders negotiate with the farmers directly. So our job is to tell you that these guys are here.

But then after we have told you the movement of those goods from one point to your factory in another country is a challenge. So we have found that we have to work a lot in terms of supporting the farmers groups to get to that potential. What time am I telling you? I told you is Irish potatoes.

You tell the guy that you are using variety X. So they need to buy that from an input supplier those are the kind of partnerships that will create, business-to-business partnerships and farmer to business partnerships. But, we also bring in financial institutions because now after you have told that potato farmer that they need to buy seeds, they need to buy fertilizers, they will say ‘naye nga silina sente’. Omukyala mulwade, esente zigenze kumuteala mu dwalilo. (Translated as I don’t have money. My wife is unwell, going to use the money for her medication). So what do you do? So the financial institutions play a big role there, but we also provide grants.

RK: So for me here Birungi, it is not the money

BK: Yes

RK: You talked about the information asymmetry. The information asymmetry I see here is between the people who are desperate, hungry for opportunity of some who are here. Where is Kilimo Trust? Where do we find Kilimo Trust? How do we ever know that Kilimo Trust has this opportunity? How do I reach Birungi in order for me to benefit? There are a lot of Young people who are well educated that are willing to take risk in agriculture that did not know all these requirements. How do they access all this information as Kilimo Trust and get this information and act on it?

Bk: Okay, so what we usually do is that we are funded by donors. In order to facilitate that process to get the like of hotels to buy from farmers they will tell you that it was not their core business to support farmers. But we will buy. But we will not support them in buying seeds or anything else.

So the funding we get from donors is to do all that. So we usually put out calls in the papers. Usually papers and our websites and say we have got funding from USAID, Agra to support rice farmers, we are looking for processors that are willing to work with small holder farmers. There is a grant facility that will help you strengthen the supply chain, the backward linkages but you guarantee off take. We call them in. We usually put them out and they call in. So that’s how we do it. They are usually on our website and in our newspapers and the media. That is how we get processors or off takers as we call them. But for the youth we work a lot with the government and we work a lot with the local government and I really want to encourage the youth to speak with the local government and so many people think government people don’t have information, they don’t know.

RK. But finding local government people also, have you ever looked for a parish chief? Do you know how difficult it is for an ordinary person?

BK: It is, but we work with them…

RK: You walk there and they tell you that he has gone for a seminar, stake holder consultation but anyway have you thought of other alternatives of engaging your public to pass on this information.

Bk: Now do you see, who would have thought before covid that I would be having a conversation like this to people like the ones listening to me about market opportunities. We have created apps to bridge this information asymmetry but people wouldn’t use them because they rely on technology, you must have the phone, internet

Bk: Know who your buyer is even better, you start wanting to plant 10 acers of tomatoes. Please do not call me after the tomatoes are ripening

RK: I have maize

BK: The maize that you are telling me Birungi, Kilimo can buy my maize?  Nooo you should have planted knowing who the buyer of that maize will be and you know at what price they will buy it

RK: Then you go and plant

BK: So people have to invest in research

RK: Market research. I am not saying the scientific research. Go and ask. Do seek a basic research. Who are the buyers? Who are the buyers in this area? Who are the traders in this area? Start from your space, where your land is that is if you have land.

RK: There was a girl called Sandra, she called herself slay famer. We hosted her on this show and she told us how for her she knew what her market was. She grew tomatoes and the area around her was her first market. She didn’t even go to the market.

BK: She did not go to the other market but that’s the market.

Tony Otoa: Hello Birungi, it’s a pleasure hearing you and that is its amazing meeting you or e-meeting you or space meeting you. But I mean you have really inspired me, and you have really put many things into perspective especially the area of agriculture. I like the fact that you are putting your focus on the young people. I don’t know if you know,

but a month ago there was a huge buzz over social media of how agriculture is not a money making thing. It’s so boring, you can’t make money and so on and so forth. But again you kind of breaking the stereo type of it not being profitable. Beyond that Birungi I think what I would like to hear is that how are you creating the avenue for young people to access finance or input to this area. Some of them might have the market but then in times of the input that’s a place that’s really very tricky for them.

How can they do that sustainably to stay afloat because I believe you have businesses you have worked with for the past five years. What’s that story that makes them strive? What makes them sustainable, yes I would like to hear that.

BK: Okay thank you Tony and I’m glad I can talk about that one and I’ll give two stories, I have a story and these are case studies if you want to call them case studies. But there is a successful story in supporting the Youth. Some of these we have worked with the input suppliers as off take remember input suppliers if 1000 farmers are buying from him seeds that’s a huge market for him so he has a market so his interest is in working with groups. What do we have found is that some of these input suppliers can provide inputs financing to the youth and the youth will become their agent in their communities.

This has been piloted by a quitter seeds by using the youth and women another in Northern Uganda and they are using their agents in the community. Now seed is getting closer to the farmer groups, getting in the rural areas. They pre finance, they give the agent input, he pays back after he has sold. That’s one scenario.

The other scenario is we have financial institutions that are working with us in supporting us. Equity Bank is a partner. DFCU bank is the other partner, then Centenary bank. They are willing to provide financing to the Youth for as long as they know that they will pay back in a financing arrangement in which we as Kilimo Trust have that kind of collaboration. Financial institutions have also come in and are warming up to the idea of supporting youth, supporting the women in providing cheap capital or credit to be able to sell for instance input. There are quite a number of models that are coming up and the youth are taking advantage of them some of them are abusing them, they are abusing the opportunities but, quite a number of success stories where the youth have started as agents and then provide a blended arena of services not just input. They provide marketing information, provide gap standards training so they provide an arena of services and make money out of it. We have seen some of them build houses and some of them earn closely to 10 million a year or 12 a year as a steady income out of that kind of activity and I think it’s up to the level of entrepreneurship that an individual has. If you’re willing to work hard to take the risks, to learn, we have seen some transformation in Uganda. Not in Kampala, but in Kasese, in Kabale and in Zirobwe.

Hillary Bamulinde: There is a lot of money government has provided towards funding especially towards agric. But, however this money is channelled through commercial Banks, which commercial banks do not want support ideas or Innovations. Our banks fund cash flows. If they are giving you this money provided by government it’s still very stringent money. It still requires collateral that most people do not have. So as Kilimo Trust and other organizations in this space, what are doing to bridge that gap to see that this money can be accessed in an easy way?

BK: Yes, there is a lot that we are doing at two levels. So there is work we are doing at a policy level and there is work we do to support the risk agri businesses or the entrepreneurs themselves. So the banks usually are always wary to lend the agri business because they don’t keep records. They don’t have information, they don’t know who the buyers are, the market isn’t guaranteed. So the risks are many.

The farming practices are not good. There is a risk of bad weather. We are rain fed agriculture, so the risks are so many.

So what Kilimo Trust has done is that, I told you that we work with Equity bank, DFCU, Centenary and we have created collaboration so we meet these entrepreneurs and prepare them to get ready for the financing. We develop for them the business plan but we also ensuring that the kind of enterprise they are getting into and the mitigation measures they should put into place. Can they take on crop insurance? Can they do training in terms of business processing so that they are more efficient in processing because it doesn’t mean that the fact that you have a factory and you have a processing mill you are doing it efficiently. No, there are certain ways that you may not be doing it well. So how do you increase efficiency so that you increase your profit margin. And then it’s about guaranteeing that there is a market opportunity. We work closely with the banks, and we are also doing a very big role sensitizing the bank and the employees that this is how agriculture financing should be. You can’t give someone a lone and expect them to pay back immediately when the crop is going to be ready in 6 months’ time or 3 months’ time so maybe the financing should be structured in such a way that it will be paid back in 6 months’ time. That’s information that we need to distribute. Who is that famer group we are lending money to?

Where are they? How do they do their business? If they default can I find them there because Ugandans change Mobile numbers? Will they move? So all those risks are reduced once there is a guarantee of Kilimo Trust when we say we know them. We are working them. They are supplying beans in, and this is what they are doing. We are also training them and mitigating those risks it helps. For the youth we are also doing that through programs, multiple programs, we have the competitive Africa rice initiative. We are also supporting horticulture in northern Uganda and a honey value chain, Apiculture. So we are supporting a number of value chains in Uganda and the youth in these value chains. So that’s how we are working closely with the banks but the second one I wanted to emphasize is on the policy. We have been working with HIFA international, funding from MasterCard foundation and supporting youth in Uganda, about fifteen thousand youth in Uganda and in those districts there were no even financial institutions, all they had was village savings and leading associations. But we have been able to do is to be able to 1; Help the youth to understand what they need to do to be able to access finance

2; We have been able to encourage them to save. Start small, save and once you have that record, it is much easier for a bank to give you something at the start. But we have also have been able to build the capacity of the youth. Sharing with them the opportunities. Don’t just go into producing maize. The chances if you are making a profit on half an acre of land is almost impossible. You should have four or five acers of land. So we give them that information. We could actually tell them, go into service provision, or go into poultry and you could be able to generate a steady income from that. Or you could go into horticulture, mushroom farming, or something like that. You know youth want quick returns over a short period of time. But with that information, you have been implementing that produce over 5 years. We have been able to establish that the funding mechanism that government has through the local governments, the venture capital fund, the youth lively program and all that. The youth create groups specifically to get that money, they get it but they don’t know how to utilize it well. Well, others want to take it for other purposes.

RK: They want to go and drink it

BK. But not all, some genuinely want to start an enterprise and some have started the poultry enterprises but then the birds got new counsel and they lost all the bites yet they still have to pay back. So it can be very discouraging so we are having a national dialogue on the 29th of September with parliamentarians and stakeholders in the industry on how we can support the youth and come up with creative financing mechanisms to enable youth to access finances in Uganda. One is to do the capacity of the youth but also be able to identify the business opportunities the youth can be engaged in. Let them have a track record and some knowledge in that particular enterprise before they then go to financial institutions because we went that level of seriousness. They must show before they show up before the financial institutions.

Jotham Martin Wambi: How have you prepared setting up standards for the agricultural sector in Uganda?

Patrick Muhinda: We have the ideas, but the capital to start. I would like to ask for an opportunity to work with any of you even if it’s volunteering so that I get the capital.

BK: There is a lot we can do to start small and while I think you are getting into agriculture; the risks are very many. Start small.

RK. What would you like to tell the people as your ending remarks?

BK: If you’re going into agriculture, know who your buyer is, before you start. Don’t call me to tell me that you planted before knowing who was going to buy from you.

Networking. You must be intentional and work on it. It will give you business, it will give you information. It is a game changer.

Leave a positive footprint everywhere you go. Let them remember you for your excellence. Let them remember you for your integrity.

One thought on “Birungi Korutaro on Opportunities in Agriculture

  1. This afternoon has been worthy it reading Birungi Korutaro and MN and integrating them in my agricultural enterprise passion. Wonderful lessons taken in as a young person soon I will impact

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