Agri-firm improves Uganda maize supply chainUnder a conservation agriculture and precision farming approach, Agilis has substantially invested in Uganda’s the agribusiness value chain.
October 8—Agilis Partners, an agricultural development company, is seeing success in helping to bring some consistency in Uganda’s maize supply chain which in turn is also increasing farmers’ incomes.
The company, that owns Asili Farms, situated nearly 200 kilometres north east of Kampala, is one of Uganda’s largest maize and oilseed farming enterprises and commodity exporters.
Benjamin Prinz, the Managing Director and Co-founder of Agilis Partners said recently, “Our business is not only farming. We are also distributing maize through the Joseph Initiative ,a grain management and agricultural services company. So it is in our best interest if the neighbour next door is producing very good quality grain. We invite farmers every six months just before the harvest period, train them on the best farming practices so that they are able to produce good grain.
Under a conservation agriculture and precision farming approach, Agilis has substantially invested in the agribusiness value-chain and in the process maximized yields efficiently in an environmentally sustainable manner.
He said, “We have centers that buy grain from the farmers and that way, we are able to not only become an investor in the farming activities but also partner with the farmer to help co-market their grain with us.”
Last year, 3,400 farmers were trained on sustainable and climate-smart cropping techniques. These farmers were subsequently integrated into the 15,000 farmers’ supply network of the Joseph Initiative, one of the companies owned by Agilis.
Prinz said, “We take farmers through the technicalities of proper farm and crop management – including timing, spacing and management of crops to ensure timely harvesting and maximizing of yields, both quality and quantity wise.”
Enid Nyangireki, 57, a resident of Kibamba Village, Pakanyi Sub-County in Masindi district says that unlike before, she is now able to get higher yields from her two acres of maize, thanks to the trainings she has received.
Kiryandongo and Masindi districts are now considered one of the biggest suppliers of maize in Uganda and the East African region as a whole. However, annually towards harvest season, the Joseph Initiative invites small-holder farmers from surrounding districts and sometimes Gulu in the north and Kasese to the west, to visit their farms. This is pass on tips in the best methods to ensure higher quality and quantity.
Peter Dibele, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Kiryandongo said the Agilis investment is a welcome relief given that farmers, who in the past realized only five bags from an acre, are now getting on average of between eight and 10 bags from the same size of land.
“The land in this area is very fertile and yet many people remained very poor. I am happy that investors such as Agilis have given the smallholder farmers an opportunity to learn so that they too can put that knowledge into practice in their smaller farms. I am also a farmer and learnt new tips that I will employ on my farm,” Dibele said.