Ms Agnes Kirabo is the communication and advocacy officer at Volunteer Efforts for Development Concerns (Vedco); she spoke to Smart Money about the organisations activities and initiatives.
Tell us about Vedco.
Vedco is a Non- Governmental Organisation with a mission to equitably empower small and medium holder farmers for food and nutrition security, agricultural trade and organisational development. We have existed since 1986 and reach out to over 30,315 farmers directly.
What is the role of Vedco in agriculture?
Like any Civil Society Organisation, our role is to supplement government development programmes and advise on programme and policy development. Our core activities are centred on provision of agricultural technical services.
Though agribusiness is Uganda’s biggest employer, it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. What are you doing as Vedco to influence change of attitude?
We provide stakeholders with information and opinions that practically appreciate their role in the production chain. Uganda is not short of theories but the will and ability to translate them in practice is still lacking.
How have you prepared farmers to tap into the EAC market?
We give them information; expose them to debates on the EAC and take trade experts to talk to them. We also support them to produce more.
How would you advise the government on the promotion of agribusiness in Uganda?
To walk the talk. Lamenting about farmers’ failure to add value to their produce is not enough.