By Emmanuel Rackara
Small and medium sized agro businesses in northern Uganda are poised to benefit from a funding facility worth £40m as grant from United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).
The package was launched in Gulu district last week under the theme “Support to Agricultural Revitalization and Transformation (START)”.
UNCDF shall work closely and in the partnership of European Union, Uganda Development Bank, and Private Sector Foundation of Uganda.
The project (grant) is to solidly encourage agriculture value addition, access to finance and dedicated facility for business development services under the 11th Economic Development afund (EDF) and the government of Uganda under the office of the Prime Minister.
The four year programme will unfold Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) with 33 districts in the region, capturing a total population of 7 million with a positive objective of “consolidating stability in northern Uganda, eradicating poverty and strengthening the foundations for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development”.
According to Kiseka Daniel, the grant manager at Private Sector Foundation of Uganda, this grant package is to “ensure the benefiting agro business stays beyond and raise finance to ensure they get the right partners to aid and benefit many more people within the region with a positive social impact”.
“Each business entity to obtain grants up to a cumulative amount from Uganda shillings 40 million to Uganda shillings 400 million,” he further noted.
“On special condition, those whose proposal are designed to tackle youth empowerment and women in terms of providing employment and market for their produce, and one that shall deal with environmental risks will attract “zero interest loans” for the business which shall cover 40% of the financing requirement subjects,” he adds.
Cyprian Batala who’s the assistant commissioner, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives applauded this developmental initiative saying “it is in line with government programme of promoting the private sector in economic development which aims at enhancing value addition and income”.
He, however, noted that the Ministry has got departments, citing trade and business development which will be “key in sustaining the programme by offering guidance in improving standards”.
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