Arise and Shine Maize Millers in Kawempe, AlutKot Cooperative Savings and Credit Society Lira, Mukwano Lira and Farm Africa Lira were some of the supported agribusinesses visited by members of the aBi BoD between 26th to 28th August 2019.
The visit presented the BoD with an opportunity to meet and interact with the end beneficiaries of the different aBi interventions ranging from financial s and capacity building support. What was clear from all the beneficiary projects visited was how much energised they felt by the BoD’s visit. To them the visit was a clear indication that aBi is committed to working towards making their different enterprises more profitable and sustainable.
At Arise and Shine, the proprietor Mr. Bwire thanked aBi for the support saying; “your support and this partnership has placed us in a good business position, we are able to access funding from other partners like Uganda Development Bank because of our association with you”. Arise and Shine works with over 6000 farmers organised in different farmer groups from areas of Oyam, Kiryandingo and Masindi. In a bid to fulfil the market demand, Arise and Shine collaborated with aBi to have backward linkages with the farmers to increase maize volumes from 13,000MT to 18,000MT per annum through the Maize Production Enhancement Project (MaPEP) that was worth UGX 1,708,040,000.
aBi support has seen the maize millers upgrade to better storage facilities as well as better production machines which has helped them reduce on the cost of production. Although they are still facing some challenges like transportation and lack of operational funds, they are hopeful that this is going to be dealt with in the near future through this partnership.
Speaking on behalf of the aBi BoD, the Chairperson, Mrs Sarah Walusimbi said aBi was pleased with what the millers have been able to achieve from the partnership. “I am glad you are putting the funds to good use and getting good results out of it”, she said. She however advised then to work to ensure sustainability as these partnerships come and go.
The BoD had a supervised tour around the milling factory and later visited some of the farmer groups that Arise and Shine works with called ABECAM Area Cooperative Enterprise (ACE) in Oyam District. Speaking on behalf of the farmers, the chairperson of the cooperative thanked the aBi BoD for the visit and said the farmers have benefited from the partnership in numerous ways. “We have a ready market for our produce, and we have been equipped with machines that help us in value addition. We are also in the process of receiving a tractor, which will help us transport out produce thereby solving the transportation problem. All this on top of the training and capacity building”, he said. ABECAM became an ACE as a merger of Rural Producers’ Organizations from Aber Sub County and Kamdini sub county of Oyam District. The ACE started in 2018 with about 350 farmers to be able to benefit from storage support from World Vision. The partnership between A&S and ABECAM ACE started in early 2019.
Tha aBi BoD also visited the Mukwano factory in Lira district were they met with the Managing Director of Mukwano as well as the project-implementing partner DanChurch Aid. Mukwano provide ready market for the farmers (mostly refugees and host communities) dealing in oil seeds in areas of Yumbe District.
At Alutkot Cooperative Savings and Credit Society Lira District, the BoD was impressed by how the savings society has been able to grow its portfolio in such a short while. The leadership of the cooperative expressed their desire to expand to other areas of the district and Board assured them of aBi’s support. aBi engaged with Alutkot through FSD sub component in April 2018 ( and results to date include;
- Establishment of a branch at Bala Sub County.
- Improvement outreach and growth in membership by registering 850 new and increase the SACCO members from 6,898 to 7,738.
- Disbursement 450 new loans amounting to over 23,000,000Ugx
The aBi BoD periodically conducts such visits to monitor the status of different interventions and witness first-hand the impact of aBi interventions across the country.