Lockdown opened my eyes to business opportunities

By Rogers Othieno

Maido Centre, is a groundnut trading business located in Kaliro, Eastern Uganda.

It is an enterprise I started running during the lockdown. The business is aimed at purchasing groundnuts from smallholder farmers, before processing it into paste and powder. The products are then sold to retail shops and individual buyers at the shop. The business currently holds 500 kilogrammes of groundnuts, of which about 50 kilogrammes is processed every day.

The plan is to ensure that by the end of December 2020, we should have purchased our own grinding machine so that we are able to process stock on our own. This will ensure faster and better-quality processing, while at the same time creating employment opportunities to the youth and women who are part of the business value chain.

Besides trading in groundnuts, I have also started growing maize, rice and beans on over four acres of land in Bugonza, Kaliro District. Here, I piloted the growing of the high-yielding UH 5354 variety of maize, from which we expect to harvest about four tonnes per acre. The harvest is expected in December 2020.

Currently, I’m also experimenting with rice farming, on two acres of land. I recently transplanted the seedlings and hope to harvest the grain in 2021.

Learning during lockdown  

To further improve my business and farming skills, I have been undertaking a number of online courses, all of which would not have been possible without the financial support we continued to receive during the lockdown from the MasterCard Foundation through RUFORUM.

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