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Agilis on a mission to transform agriculture in Kiryandongo

 

FILE PHOTO: As a result of the Agilis investment, Kiryandongo and Masindi Districts are considered one of the biggest suppliers of maize in Uganda and the East African region as a whole.

Kigumba, Uganda | PATRICIA AKANKWATSA | Agilis Partners, an agricultural development company recently held a sensitization workshop for farmers on how to improve their yields as well as fight the dreaded army worm on its farm located in Kigumba town.

The company that owns Asili Farms and the Joseph Initiative is one of Uganda’s largest maize and oilseed farming companies and exporters.

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.

Benjamin Prinz, the Managing Director and Co-founder of Agilis Partners explains that the company introduced an inclusive approach to farming where by the community is involved in the agricultural production value chain by participation and close collaboration, thereby accessing a bigger regional market.

“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 neighbor 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.

“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,” he says.

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.

“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,” noted Prinz.

As a result of this investment, Kiryandongo and Masindi Districts are considered one of the biggest suppliers of maize in Uganda and the East African region as a whole.

Peter Dibele, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Kiryandongo noted that the investment in the area is a welcome relief given that farmers who in the past realized only five bags from an acre are now getting on average 8 to 10 bags from the same size of land.

“The land in this area is very fertile and yet many people have 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”, Dibele said.

“I am also a farmer and learnt new tips that I will employ on my farm”, he adds.

 

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