UGANDA – The Model farmer groups in Teso Sub – Region have been equipped with knowledge and skills to take up value addition of Agricultural products to suit a competitive market.

The three-day training was conducted by Opul Skilling Foundation Africa in partnership with SOCADIDO at Eneku Village Sorot from Thursday 18th October to Saturday 20th October 2023.

Dr Joseph Opul the Executive Director of Opul Skilling Foundation Africa noted that the training aimed at addressing the problem of value addition faced by the farmers in the region ranging from vegetable growers, cereal producers, and citrus Fruits among other crops grown by farmers in the region.

The project dubbed Value Addition and cost-benefit analysis enhances farmers with the experience of tracking profits and losses for sustainable entrepreneurship.

“Teso has very fertile Soils and receives two seasons in a year, Security and electricity are part of the key achievements of the government that could be a great idea for Production in Teso,” he said.

We now need to empower our farmers with vast knowledge on Value addition so that they will storm the East African Market with high quality and acceptable commodities.”

In Uganda, majority of agricultural commodities are marketed in their raw forms which has resulted in losing opportunities for higher earnings and employment generation.

Uganda’s Import Bill, according to President Museveni stands at around USD 7 billion per year with the list of imports littered with items that could otherwise be produced and added value, outlines a report by the Monitor.

To put more succinctly, value addition, is defined as the act of agricultural producers to transform produce into a new commodity by changing its present set of characteristics to other characteristics that are more preferred in the marketplace thus obtaining higher returns.

According to a recent Research Gate article, value addition is not merely to satisfy producers and processors through increased profits, but also, to improve taste and nutrition.

Moreover, the World Bank figures show that about 37% of the fruit and vegetables that are traded internationally are value added products largely due to their non-perishable nature.

The process, according to a report published by De Gruyter,  increases the year around availability and shelf-life of the commodity and improves off-farm employment opportunities.

“Value addition is key to offsetting the poor positioning of any agricultural product in the market, building up the quality and branding, improving income, and increasing employment,” reads the report.

It also enhances the technology transfer and capacity building needs of the workers, increases the trade and economy of the country, and creates a pathway out of the poverty.

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