As an NGO, Kulika has decided to establish a business arm to implement its social business objective. The social business is aimed at fulfilling the vision of enhancing the livelihoods of the smallholder farmers that Kulika has been training for a long time, since 1981. The farmers have the skill, knowledge and the techniques to practise sustainable organic agriculture successfully. However, they face the enduring challenge of where to sell their products and now is the time that Kulika has come in to say ‘we want to be market facilitators and to be the market ourselves (we want to be market providers).
To achieve this Kulika has established units where we are able to process some of the products from our farmers by making them fine and adding value, then selling them. An established example so far is Katu Honey. We have also started wine processing and we buy the fruits such as pineapples and hibiscus from the Kulika trained farmers.
We are looking forward towards establishing peanut butter and coffee processing. We have around 1,800 farmers who were trained in Lira and Oyam districts in Northern Uganda and in Kamuli in Eastern Uganda. These farmers produce a lot of g-nuts soya and coffee which we are to buy and process into peanut butter and coffee, then pack and sell to supermarkets. This will give the farmers a market for their produce and Kulika also makes a profit by adding value and selling it to the supermarkets. A recent development in the honey enterprise is that we are establishing beehives at the Kulika Training Centre to produce our own honey as well as buying it from farmers. Some of the farmers are youth in Mubende and Namayumba whom we are training in apiary and we buy and process their honey and sell it in the name of Katu honey.
Apart from buying the produce and providing the market, we also say there are instances where we cannot process everything, but we can facilitate the market for the farmers. This means that we get big companies and organizations that are willing to buy the products and partner with them on behalf of the farmers. We tell them ‘Yes, we have farmers in Mubende. They can produce 100 tons of maize. Please can you come and buy from them?’ We have trained these farmers from the planting period up to the post-harvest handling period so that they will produce high quality. In order to achieve the quality, we have also tried to partner with input suppliers and right now we have MoUs signed with FICA Seed NASECO Seed who supply various types of seeds: maize; beans; soya; sunflower. Our farmers are able to get the high quality seeds at a lower price. These organizations train the farmers on the best agronomic practice and process. So they are able to plant it well, follow the right timetable, and harvest good quality seeds. In all this we are aiming to achieve the vision of Kulika, enhancing the livelihood of farmers through agriculture in order to increase their incomes.
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