Agribusiness Hub

Background

Since its establishment in 1996, Kabarole Research and Resource has been working with small holder farmers in a bid to achieve sustainable and equitable socio-economic development; through research, advocacy and innovation, information packaging and dissemination, priority setting, networking with strategic development partners, monitoring and facilitating spaces for interaction between grass root households, decision-makers and implementers for inclusion and socio-economic sustainability

However, small holder farmers face a multitude of challenges ranging from;

  1. Quality control
  2. Compliance to rules and regulations
  3. Stiff competition from private sector players such as financial institutions and middle men
  4. Limited entrepreneurship/business skills
  5. Limited exposure
  6. Non-consistent institutional development efforts
  7. Lack of access to relevant financial packages that suit their needs and situation among others.

Through the Family Farming and Agribusiness Unit (FAGRIB), KRC has been striving to strengthen farmer organization/groups, cooperatives and marketing associations through capacity building, linkages to available financial institutions and input suppliers, value addition and innovation, farmer institutional development, compliance to rules and regulations, business planning and management, gender inclusion, policy advocacy and infrastructure development with an aim of improving joint commercialization of agricultural products of small holder farmers. However, limited funding coupled with farmer groups specific challenges has compromised performance. Therefore, the hub is expected provide space for different key stakeholders to collectively identify opportunities, challenges, strategies and innovations to maximise benefits from the various agricultural undertakings in an inclusive and sustainable manner


The KRC agribusiness hub is a collective space of convergence for knowledge, information, skills and innovations for small holder farmer organizations, produce dealers, policy makers, implementers, and input suppliers, subsidiary service institutions and innovators. The hub is aimed at boosting creativity and collaboration for synergy building for sustainable performance of farmer organizations such as Producer groups, Marketing Cooperatives/Associations, Savings and Credit Cooperatives/Associations among others. Essentially, the Hub seeks to build an environment with diverse membership with heterogeneous knowledge, ideas, and skills for collaboration, spontaneous idea and resource sharing on non-discriminatory basis among autonomous bodies with a common agenda and shared purpose. The novel combinations of ideas and practices are more likely, expected to result into unique and viable innovations that will improve the performance of farmer organizations with an ultimate goal of improved sustainable livelihoods. To achieve its advocacy mandate, the hub will support beneficiaries to build strong individual agency since the voluntary, self-directed action has often times proved efficient in driving the social dynamism and energy of the community as a whole.

Objectives of the Hub:

  1. To improve performance of farmers’ organizations (Producer groups and Marketing cooperatives/Associations and Savings and credit cooperatives/associations) through information sharing, networking, capacity building, market and other linkages, monitoring and exchange learning
  2. To strength stakeholder collaboration through networking, knowledge, ideas and information sharing
  3. To strengthen lobbying and advocacy for small holder farmer centered policies and actions
  4. To enforce compliance to standards for quality control, business growth and sustainability
  5. To strengthen innovation through idea piloting, action research and documentation

Collaboration with government

Establishment and management of the agribusiness hub is done in partnership with 10 District Local Governments in the Rwenzori Region through the Trade Industry and Local Economic Development Department (TILED). The Steering Committee of the hub is chaired by the District Commercial Officer of Ntoroko District Local Government with a secretariat at KRC. The hub is expected to strengthen the capacity of Trade Industry and Local Economic Development Department to deliver on their mandate of;

  1. Increasing the share of manufactured goods and services in total exports
  2. Improving private sector competiveness
  3. Increasing market access for Ugandan goods and services in the regional and national markets
  4. Improve the stock and quality of trade infrastructure;
  5. Promote the formation and growth of cooperatives
  6. Enhance the capacity of cooperatives to compete in the domestic regional and international markets
  7. Increase in diversity, type and range of enterprises undertaken by cooperatives.
This will be archived through collaborative fundraising, research, innovation, information, knowledge and idea sharing, monitoring and evaluation, exchange learning among others.

Summary of key engagements

  1. Documentation (Cooperatives Data base development and regular performance update)
  2. Networking – Regular meetings will be conducted for both the steering committee members and farmer organizations
  3. Capacity building for farmer organizations in agribusiness development through exchange learning, institutional development, business planning and management, financial management, quality control among others. High level capacity building sessions for the steering committee members for key identified training needs will be done
  4. Innovation and business incubation
  5. Lobbying and advocacy
  6. Market and other business linkages
  7. Joint Compliance monitoring, reviews and enforcement
  8. Information packaging and dissemination
  9. Joint fundraising

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