The Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) supported by the Mastercard Foundation, has partnered with Mukwano Industries Limited to support youth and create 50,000 jobs across the agricultural value chain in the next 5 years.
Mukwano will equip farmers with skills to train small-scale farmers on good agronomic practices and post-harvest handling through Identification and registration of smallholder farmers into producer groups with support from local government leaders and the already existing Mukwano extension service networks at parish levels.
Speaking at the partnership launch held at the Mukwano manufacturing plant in Industrial Area, Kampala, the PSFU acting executive director, Francis Kisirinya said agriculture remains the backbone of Uganda’s economy and has become more apparent as a result of COVID-19.
“If there’s anything that has become more apparent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is that health and agriculture are key industries we need to focus on considering the demand and readily available market,” Kisirinya noted.
He revealed that they are partnering with lead firms in the agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality sectors to utilize the opportunity gaps identified across the value chain.
“We have so far on-boarded 17 out of 80 lead firms- Mukwano being the 17th. We call upon all firms with the potential to create dignified and fulfilling opportunities for the youth to join us in this initiative to build a sustainable future for our young people,” he appealed.
Tony Gadhoke, the Chief Executive Officer, Mukwano said throughout their agricultural value chain, there is a sh251b economic opportunity for the youth to tap into the supply chain within Uganda alone.
“The youth can tap into the economic opportunity as producers, suppliers, and providers of different services in the supply chain including farmer mobilization and organization, farmer management and extension services, and financial service provision,” Gadhoke explained. “Mukwano was only utilizing 40% of the available plant capacity due to inadequate grain supply of Sunflower and Soybean. This means that over sh175.5 billion in economic value, enough to employ millions of youth in this country, is lost every year in the agricultural supply chain which this partnership will rectify.”
Samuel Yalew Adela the Country Lead at the Mastercard Foundation Uganda said: “The Mastercard Foundation is pleased to support this new partnership, which has the potential to be truly transformational for young people.”
He said PSFU, as the anchor implementing partner through the Lead Firm Structure Project, will create a total of 300,000 work opportunities in sectors of agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, and construction & housing with 70% of the beneficiaries being young women.