The Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) in partnership with Ngetta Zonal Agricultural Research & Development Institute (NGEZARDI), are launching a unique and state of the art agribusiness expo in Uganda. The Agribusiness Expo will take place in Lira, on 21st and 22nd June 2012.
The EAGC Agribusiness Expo 2012, whose theme is “Improving Livelihoods through Enhancing Access to Markets”, is in line with the agricultural strategy plan of Uganda whose aim is to increase rural household incomes and improve livelihoods and to improve market access for agricultural products in domestic, regional and international markets for the people of Uganda.
The Agribusiness expo is an annual event of the Council that provides for an opportunity to foster agricultural trade, business to business linkages and market access among all the stakeholders. The expo allows participants to learn new strategies of maximizing the economic gains to foster sustainable market-led agriculture development for improved livelihoods in Uganda.
At the expo, exhibitors will showcase a wide range of innovative products and services in Agribusiness and participants will exchange views on agribusiness financing and risk mitigation, modern grain aggregation and market concepts through warehousing receipt systems and commodity exchange, farm to market linkages, post-harvest management systems, research and biotechnology and marketing information services and technologies.
The expo will involve large and small holder farmers from across the country and with exhibitors in the grain and staple foods subsector including agro processors, seed suppliers, dairy and financial service providers to mention but a few.
Improving livelihoods through enhancing access to markets in Uganda
The EAGC agribusiness expo focuses the agribusiness sector in Uganda in the right direction. As you are all aware, no country has achieved a significant measure of socio-economic and structural transformation without first modernizing its agriculture and no country has significantly reduced the poverty of its population without achieving a high level of productivity in agriculture.
EAGC is therefore fully convinced that large scale and small scale producers, traders and processors can find a way out of poverty by increasing the competitiveness of their produce and strengthening public-private sector partnerships. Although liberalisation of grain marketing systems has empowered farmers in Uganda to sell their produce at competitive prices, they are still not prepared to reap the benefits thereof. Their heavy reliance on traditional practices of handling and storage means that their produce is often poor in quality and their outputs are low. However, the EAGC agribusiness expo is a forum that exposes the stakeholders in the agribusiness sector to reap the benefits of the industry. Through the expo stakeholders are exposed to improved market access by using appropriate post-harvest technologies, market information strategies, financial linkages, risk management. The expo also helps to catalyse linkages between the private sector, smallholders, traders, agricultural advisors and NGOs to create strategic coalition partnerships, thus enhancing markets access and improved livelihoods. In light of this, the government of Uganda is partnering with the private sector, including EAGC and various national and international agencies to achieve increased value addition and market access for agricultural produce. Therefore in light of this EAGC is working in Uganda to ensure structured trade, market access and linkages through multiple marketing channels.
The EAGC Agribusiness expo also further seeks to support Uganda overall economy since it largely dependent on agriculture. EAGC seeks to contribute to the Country’s GDP which is currently estimated at $52.93 billion with a per capita of $1,900, where agriculture contribution is estimated at 29.4%. With a labour force in Agriculture estimated at 82% of the population, the expo will seek to expose the entire people to improve their livelihoods through enhanced markets.
In addition the enhancement of agricultural productivity and enhanced market is thus an important condition for increasing household food security and stimulating economic growth through increased investments in Agriculture. Attempts to enhance the sector’s productivity have led to diverse market dynamics in support to producers, traders, processors and development of the sector.
We further note that market linkages and access in the agricultural sector is focusing on commercialization of sub-sector with the thrust being on, structured trade and production in order to increase incomes and contribution to global, regional and national policies that impact on food security, poverty reduction and economic growth. In view of the above, we recommend that:
- ? The government provides a favorable policy environment that support agribusiness growth for all investors in the sector.
- ? That government and partners come together to support improved national and regional markets systems to ensure market access which is critical to transforming and cushioning agribusiness growth, economic development and improve livelihoods in the region.
- ? The adoption of an integrated approach which includes harnessing local innovations and technology to build resilience to the impact of poor agricultural policies. This will eventually lead to the development of a sustainable agricultural production, structured trade and improved livelihoods for the people of Uganda. More Information on the Agribusiness Expo.
The stakeholders briefing being held today is aimed at introducing the expo to prospective exhibitors and address logistical and preparations issues such as booking exhibition spaces, publicity and sponsorships opportunities as follows:-
- Crops Demonstration Site
- Media Coverage
- Lighting the Exhibition Area
- Provision of Security Services
- Gala Dinner
- Gold Category Ugx 950,000, Silver category Ugx 825,000 and Bronze UGx 700,000 The Expo will bring to light among other things;-
- The importance of agribusiness to market access, economic development and food security at large;
- The impact of changing technologies and business opportunities on agribusiness and the economy;
- The negative effects of policies and poor practices on agribusiness and the overall economy
- The challenges for increasing agricultural production and maintaining profits in agribusiness in the face of changing policies, and;
- The role of stakeholders in the agribusiness sector in ensuring economic growth and prosperity.
Key Benefits for attending the expo Increase the degree of awareness of your products Present new products and technologies in agribusiness Evaluate product design or acceptability range Test your company’s competitive capability Extend the sales network Make new contacts and strengthen existing ones Observe competitors and the market. An opportunity to engage in dialogue with clients, resulting in demand-driven products and services that satisfy the requirements of the clients.