Partnerships key in strengthening agribusinesses
Jean Kaahwa the owner of Shalom Fish Farm Limited ventured into fish hatchery through the fish pond system in 2006 to capture the untapped fish supply market. The company’s core business is fish processing but provides consultancy services, constructs fish ponds for farmers, exports fish and assists in market linkages. He joined Africa Agribusiness Academy (AAA) two years ago.
Frank Thule the proprietor of Silver Fish supplies quality omena/dagaa to farmers. The company also provides consultancy services in finance and accounting. He is a year old in AAA. Farmers struggling with poor quality fish have been able to get assistance through their services. One of its key achievements was its involvement in a traceability study for Uganda’s farmed fish for export to European markets.
The two have been good friends and members of Youth in Agriculture Africa (YAA) which is an organization they formed to sensitize youth in agriculture. YAA trains youth for a year in various agricultural practices. They facilitate learning trips to successful companies and agribusinesses where they get practical knowledge. All this is made possible through the venture capital they obtain from potential interested funders.
YAA also gives support by providing land and crops for planting to the youth. After nurturing them for a year, they are left to go do their startups in agribusinesses. The youth still continue to receive trainings and guidance in the various fields they undertake even after they leave. Jean and Frank have managed to work together to build successful businesses.
Jean notes that he has benefitted a lot from the knowledge shared and free consultancy services he has continued to receive from members in similar businesses and others. He has written a book on fish farming and has given AAA recognition by having the logo on the book.
“I have benefitted from the networking and exposure especially through the trips. Ethiopia was an eye opener for me as I learnt a lot. I believe it is time for me to give back.”
Frank says he believes in the cause and only being a year old in the club, he has been able to adopt integrated knowledge and skills from Jean and other members. He hopes to get exposure to other markets and more in-depth coverage of their activities by the media. They both have shown interest in bee keeping and will be buying bee keeping kits from one of the AAA members Vian Rudasingwa from The Hive.