Building on the existing partnership with IITA, the Swedish University of Agriculture (SLU) is exploring areas of partnership with the IITA Youth Agripreneurs in Uganda on youth agripreneurship program with some identified tertiary institutions in the country. The team from SLU who were in Uganda for a week workshop in Kampala, Uganda organized a competition on youth agri-food entrepreneurial projects and four days field trip to sustainable agribusiness entrepreneurship projects to encourage young Agripreneurs in the country.
The leader of the SLU team, Dr Dekker Teun said the university’s journey into agripreneurship started about four years ago when a team of students in the university met with the management to seek permission to ask if they could find and establish partnership and explorative visits with other Agripreneurs in other parts of the world.
He explained that it was during that time that the former Deputy Director General in charge of Research in IITA, Dr. Ylva Hilbur visited SLU and made a presentation about the youth in agribusiness initiative of IITA. The presentation according to him stimulated the student’s interest to visit IYA in Ibadan, Nigeria in 2015.
Impressed by what the young people in Nigeria are doing, the SLU team is also encouraged by the outstanding initiative of the IYA team in Uganda. Making a presentation on the activities of the group in Uganda, the representative of IYA in Uganda, Beckie Nakabugo said the challenges faced by the team with middlemen ignited their passion to develop an online platform for selling their vegetables. The online platform known as the vegetable basket gives the consumer an opportunity to place an order for freshly produced vegetable and delivery to the client. The team bought a tricycle to ease their movement and prompt delivery of the produce to their consumers.
The partnership between the two institutions will strengthen the north-south, identify a knowledge gap on the pre-requisite of starting an agribusiness in different parts of the world, enable student exchange programs, and translating research generated solution into practical sustainable solutions.