There is great excitement in the agricultural sector in Uganda as preparations are underway for the fourth Agribusiness Congress East Africa conference that is taking place in Kampala from 29-30 November. It is the first time that the event is taking place in Uganda.
Agribusiness Congress East Africa is a regional platform for discussions and knowledge sharing, to address those pertinent issues which are preventing the East African agricultural industry from truly flourishing as a global agribusiness hub.
Already the farming sector is showing great support. The Grain Council of Uganda (TGCU)’s Board Vice Chairman, Robert Mwanje, says the body “is delighted to partner, support and host the fourth annual Agribusiness Congress East Africa. The success of the event in the East African region has given the Grain Council of Uganda the confidence to host the upcoming edition in Uganda, setting it as a key entrant into the national annual calendar. The Congress strives to set progressive action for the commercialisation of the industry by exchanging knowledge, best practices and dynamic conversations whilst showcasing leading agri technology to highlight the right tools for East Africa’s agri sector.”
Other industry organisations that are official partners include the East African Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (EACCIA), National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNFFE), Uganda Seed Trade Association (USTA) and Agricona.
“Moving the Agribusiness Congress East Africa to Uganda will once again extend the opportunity to set the spotlight on the rapid expansion of the agriculture industries within East Africa,” says Jon McLea, Director of Agricona, “and fuelled by peaceful elections, unregulated markets and fertile lands – will make the pearl of Africa a hot spot for agribusiness investments.”
Farmers to become agripreneurs
“We are just as excited about organising Agribusiness Congress East Africa in Uganda this year”, says event director Yolanda dos Santos, “and we look forward to bringing together national, regional and international commercial farmers, donors, stakeholders, investors, policy advisors, commodity traders and industry professionals. Through the programme we aim to enhance commercial activities, enable commodity trade, sustainability, empower youth and women, encourage up skilling and provide market accessibility to the East African agricultural corridors. We will also feature the leading technologies through a product showcase to highlight the right tools for East Africa’s commercial agricultural arena.”
She adds: “we all know there is great potential in the agri arena, including for commercialisation and the up skilling for an entrepreneurial mind-set amongst all-scale farmers to become agripreneurs, using technology and training programmes. Agriculture can generate huge opportunities for financial access and investment in the region and now is the time to set action to strategic plans unlocking the potential.”
- Market access through treaties and agreements: Uganda is part of the free trade areas of EAC, COMESA and SADC.
- Uganda is a signatory to major international investment and business protocols.
- Totally liberalised foreign exchange regime.
- Uganda has a population of 35 million people with a growing middle-income class with reasonable expendable income.
Well-known agri suppliers Engsol, Mascor, John Deere and Chief Industries have already signed up as event sponsors.
Agribusiness Congress East Africa will offer market access to more than 200 million people through Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and South Sudan. Agriculture accounts for almost 30% of GDP in East African countries while staple foods represent 75% of total agricultural products traded. Agriculture employs more than 60% of the population in the region.
The event is organised by Spintelligent, a well-known trade conference and expo organiser on the continent, with particular expertise and experience in energy, infrastructure and agricultural development events; including the long-running flagship shows such as Agritech Expo Zambia, the East African Power Industry Convention in Nairobi and African Utility Week in Cape Town.
Agribusiness Congress East Africa dates and location:
Conference: 29-30 November 2016
Event location: Kampala Serena Hotel, Kampala, Uganda