ENVIRONMENTAL ALERT AGRI-BUSINESS AND INCUBATION CENTRE (EA ABIC), KYEVUNZE , KIKOMA PARISH, KATIKAMU SUB COUNTY, LUWEERO DISTRICT.
Environmental Alert acquired 9.48 acres of land in Kyevunze, near Wobulenzi in Luweero district. EA is to carry ground breaking activities that will lead to the establishment of the Agri-business and incubation center.
Ugandan Universities and other institutions of higher learning are not sufficiently geared to meet the needs of the private sector. Graduates often cannot find gainful employment, while many small businesses lack staff with the education and skills needed to drive innovation. But also there are endless opportunities for graduates to start their own businesses through agribusiness incubation. Every year 480,000 graduates enter the job market but only about 60,000 find jobs. The theoretical knowledge imparted and lack of practical entrepreneurial and business skills remain key limiting factors. Essentially, the relationship between the demands of the private sector and what universities teach is too weak. The lack of sufficient innovative graduate entrepreneurs is attributed to the very restricted contact between university faculty and businesses that results in a misfit between the type of graduates that the universities are producing and the industry’s requirements.
Graduates will undergo a 12 months practical training by managing and running the enterprises at the incubation center as businesses and thereafter, they will graduate and will be expected to upscale the businesses. This will be done through strategic partnerships with Universities and colleges among others. In this respect, Environmental Alert has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Bukalasa Agricultural College to persue shared interest and goals in this respect.
3.0 Overall objectives
The Environmental Alert Agri-business and Incubation Centre at Kyevunze overall targets at enhancing the intellectual life and professional development of graduate students and the surrounding communities through practical Agri-entrepreneurship skills development in Uganda. Furthermore, the center will also support capacity building for students so that when they graduate, they have the skills to empower and transform their communities.
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ENGAGEMENT BETWEEN ENVIRONMENTAL ALERT (EA) AND BUKALASA AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE (BAC) ON THE OPERATIONALISATION OF MEMORANDUM OF PRINCIPALS (MOU)
On the 31st January 2020, Environmental Alert (EA) (Box 2) and Bukalasa Agricultural College (BAC) (Box 1) held their first meeting at the College to devise means on how to implement the Memorandum of Principles (MoU) that was signed on 11th April 2019. The MoU provided the framework for collaboration and partnership between Bukalasa Agricultural College (BAC) and Environmental Alert (EA) to advance development and implementation of collaborative and mutually beneficial programs at the Environmental Alert Agribusiness and Incubation centre (EA-ABIC).
EA-ABIC is a 10 acre farm land located at Kyevunze village in Wobulenzi in Luweero district off Bombo road. Currently the centre has various crop enterprises including: eucalyptus, bananas, and coffee. EA is interested in further developing this farm as an Agribusiness and Incubation Center that is self-sustaining while generating income and demonstrating appropriate environment and natural resources management technologies, innovations and practices. The target groups are students, interns and youths of the neighboring communities. A graduate intern from BAC was however recruited by the EA administration to support the establishment of the centre.
3.0 The purpose of the meeting was;
To discuss how best the MoU can be implimented.
REPORT OF THE VISIT BY THE MEMBERS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL ALERT BOARD TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL ALERT AGRIBUSINESS INCUBATION EA-ABIC (EA-ABIC).
1.0 Objective of the Visit
The main objective of the visit was to get the Board members exposed to the EA-ABIC so that they can appreciate the strategic direction for ABIC, current challenges and ongoing operations.
2.0 Methods and approaches used during the visit
This was a one (1) day visit at EA-ABIC majorly comprised of EA Board of Advisors. A participatory and practical approach was employed during the visit to encourage active participation of all participants. A transect walk around the EA-ABIC was done each transect with a guide. Focus group discussions were also used where a brief report about the ongoing activities and underlying challenges about the EA-ABIC was presented that guided the discussions.
It was an interactive session that involved a transect walk on the EA-ABIC to appreciate the activities taking place. The participants were so happy with the developments especially eucalyptus trees which they looked at as an income generating activity to support further developments of the EA-ABIC.