The Dutch embassy has launched an accelerator programme for Ugandan agribusinesses, dealing in fruits their products with the aim of linking them to buyers in the Netherlands and Europe.
According to programme manager Annelies Kannekens selected fruit farmers and in some cases, middlemen, will undergo an 18 months’ training, to skill them in sustainable supply management and production of high-quality products for export.
She said the selected candidates will receive a highly practical support package that will prepare them to ink deals with reputable entrepreneurs, especially in the Netherlands and Europe. “We shall have two cohorts focusing on adding value to fruits. One of these will focus on adding value to jackfruit and the other to dried fruits.”
The programme, dubbed ‘Business Lab Uganda’, will be hosted by the Design Hub, a creative co-working innovation space located in Kampala’s Industrial Area.
Kannekens said in the medium term, the programme will focus on building a distribution network for collecting jackfruit and developing a brand for jackfruit products for both the local and international markets.
She added that the programme will also focus on improving collaboration among Ugandan dried fruits producers to supply the international market and, through innovation, make dried fruit jewellery, where a high-end brand will be built for the Ugandan products.