Workshop to promote agricultural entrepreneurship in Uganda

Impression of the workshop
Impression of the workshop

22 March 2021

From 15-17 March, CINOP organized a workshop with Ugandan agri-entrepreneurs and teachers aimed towards the development of occupational standards for agricultural entrepreneurship. This workshop was organized within the IVEEPA project ‘Inclusive Vocational Education for Entrepreneurship Perspectives in Agriculture’.

Background information

CINOP works together with Cordaid, ADRAA Agricultural College, Amelo Technical Institute, Arua Technical Institute, Moyo Technical Institute, and Koboko Technical Institute to prepare vulnerable youth for the initiation of their own business.

In the ‘IVEEPA’ project, access to formal vocational training centers for vulnerable youth and refugees is key. We aim to contribute to youth employment in the West Nile region. The West Nile region is a region that contains many refugees from Congo and South Sudan. This project aims to strengthen the role of vocational training institutions in the West Nile region within key agricultural value chains. This reinforcement is achieved by strengthening the institutes in the availability and quality of training in agricultural entrepreneurship, which should lead to an increase in agricultural knowledge and a greater success in entrepreneurship in the communities (including refugee communities).

The workshops

Successful agri-entrepreneurs shared their experiences during the three days’ workshop. They  explained  how they started their businesses and highlighted their successes and failures. Some shared personal stories about their own experiences in exile during the Ugandan war and how NGO’s supported them with basic equipment to start up their own business. They explained how their business enabled them to support their own communities by  taking care of educational costs (such as books, uniforms, school fees). They also shared practical business tips amongst each other, such as the best method for storing beans after harvest (e.g. putting red pepper between the beans). The entrepreneurs also mentioned that they have contact with the youth in their community because many of them are already working in their businesses. They were ready to become the entry-point to their communities for the TVET institutes and to support the youth of their communities and the refugee camps in starting up their own agri-business.

Workshops (1)

The entrepreneurs shared their concern about the physical distance between them and theTVET institutes. Education must always be connected with practice. There shouldn’t be a distance between the practices of an agri-entrepreneur and the skills youth learn in TVET. We ensured that CINOP always takes this in consideration and that is why we asked them to join us and come up with a profile of an entrepreneur

Together, all participants contributed to the occupational standard for an agri-entrepreneur in the West-Nile region that will be the foundation for the development of a short course agri-business.In a next workshop, Design Thinking sessions are organized in which teachers of the 5 institutes co-create this curriculum.

After the workshops, the entrepreneurs mentioned that they enjoyed the meet-up and that they were excited to share their personal stories with us. Furthermore, they considered this workshop as a great opportunity to network and share ideas with other entrepreneurs.

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