Adding value to farm produce is the latest agribusiness innovation the youth have taken up today. This has not only because it increases their sales, but also inspires the young farmers to do more in Agribusiness.
LinkmeUg spoke to Esther Gloria Arinaitwe of Pistis Cereal Products Company. She is the 2015 Agribusiness Innovation Challenge winner.
LinkmeUg: How do you feel winning the Innovation challenge?
Gloria: Am actually excited being crowned 2015 innovation challenge winner. I am honored.
LinkmeUg: What motivated you to join this highly contested challenge?
Gloria: Well, a number of reasons. I’m a scientist by profession and I have been in business since 2014. I have produced a number of quality products and I had the belief that I would compete and actually win this innovation challenge.
LinkmeUg: What is your agribusiness called and what does it deal with?
Gloria: It is called Pitis Cereal Malt beverage. We produce a locally made beverage known as obushera.
LinkmeUg: What drove you in agribusiness?
Gloria: Passion! Having married a man who enjoys it, it was an inspiration to me. But at the start, I approached Prof William Kyamuhangire, manager Makerere University Business Education Centre who helped me with the product development and pushed my product on the market.
LinkmeUg: How much did you start with?
Gloria: I started with Shs500,000. I used the money to purchase raw materials and the business has grown to Shs10m. I have invested more in production and marketing with the aim of attaining a big customer base.
LinkmeUg: Where do you get the raw materials and supplies to make your products?
Gloria: I get the millet and sorghum from farmers in Mbarara and Kasese after which, we then process and package and distributes to various outlets.
LinkmeUg:Great, since your product seems to be a new product on the market, where do customers find it?
Gloria: Our product is in supermarkets in and outside town at Shs1,000 for a 300ml bottle and Shs1500 for a 500ml bottle. I am planning to purchase more trucks that can distribute the product to other regions.
LinkmeUg: What advice do you give youths planning to engage in agribusiness?
Gloria: Product value addition will fetch you a great deal of customers so add value to produce.
With agriculture, the best place to start is the interest and then a research about what you want. Start with any family projects and you will progress to greater levels.
Connect for better.