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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

MEET THE BUYER: 4th ANNUAL MARKET INFORMATION SYMPOSIUM


RIC-NET Information Officer and Community Out-Reach Officer on 12th and 13th Sept 2013 participated in the fourth annual market information symposium at Royal Suites Hotel, Bugolobi in Kampala. The symposium organized by Agro-Pro focus in collaboration with its other partners like SNV, FIT-Uganda, and aBi Trust was conducted under the theme “Meet the Buyer; Stimulating sustainable market relationships in Agribusiness for competitive trade”.
The symposium aimed at creating understanding on the market from the buyer’s perspective. The symposium also sought to level the ground for the participation of farmers/producers in the domestic supply chain by highlighting the supply gaps, challenges faced by the producers, trader loss and gains, buyer worries and to expose some of the current market practices.
Over one hundred people participated in this symposium. They included, members of Agro profocus Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Netherlands especially the network participants that are interested in Market Information, NGOs doing agricultural related work, companies- buyers and sellers of produce and or farm equipments, farmers, financial institutions, Progressive farmers and business men, Ministry of Agriculture, MPs and Ministers from the line committees and ministries of agriculture, Industry and Technology.

At the symposium institutions exhibited and also shared information on the different goods and services they offer and or are engaged in and how they can be accessed. Financial institutions like Centenary, Stanbic bank, and Finance Trust shared what agribusiness packages they have while private sector- companies shared their niche too. 
In addition to this participants deliberated on a lot of things for example on day one they focused on exposing the current practice of buyer market and also allowed the producers and traders to interact and brainstorm on the best approaches to address domestic and international market supply constraints. Participants also talked about the tools for trade that both buyers and sellers need for efficient and effective trading relationship. On Day two highlights on market information intelligence needed to succeed in domestic and international markets, sources of information were also done. This was later concluded with an open forum hosted by buyers stating their supply interests in the market and a cocktail dinner that allowed for further interaction, networking and deal making amongst and or between the participants- call it meeting the buyer!

Among other key events at the symposium The 2013 Market Analysis Report whose purpose is to advance agribusiness in Uganda through information was launched by the State Minister for industry and technology. The report provides information on the market price trends on a range of commodities in the various markets of Uganda, a list of agro-input dealers across the country, private sector and financial institutions engaged in agriculture related work – buying and selling of its products and other related information like how to access routine market information both on and offline.

Several outcomes were realized; they included fruitful dialogue between domestic buyers and traders/farm producers, establishment of a level platform for the negotiation of business within the domestic market, and creation of sustainable business linkages and relationship for domestic food value chains.
Details about this event can be viewed on video at RIC-NET or be accessed at www.symposium2013.fituganda.com

Friday, September 13, 2013

EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES NEED EACH OTHER FOR ORGANISATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY

Employers and employers need each other,  these were the key words in the one  day  meeting organised by  federation of Uganda  employers held at Gardens restaurant in Fort-portal on 12th September 2013. the key participant in the meeting were employers from the CSOs. RIC-NET inclusive, private companies dominated by tea estates factories and the likes of Hiima cement factory and Mountains of the moon university. the meeting objectives was to promote sound employement relations and introduce the participants to the the proposed higher education students financing bill 2013.
while opening the meeting the District chairperson kabarole, Mr. Rwabuhinga Richard  appreciated members of the federation for absorbing the young people as it has remained a challenge providing  them with employment after school. he noted that Government inducts its employees for a period of time after every recruitment to ensure there  employees are in the know of the objectives, and expected deliverables of Government  of and there by ensuring good working relations between the two parties.he also cautione the tea factories against recruiting underage workers and the workers without proper documentation which causes security threats.

At a presentation on "maintenance of good working relations to enhance individual and organisational productivity'' made by the Human resource manager mountains of the Moon university Mr mukundane Vincent he noted the  employers and emlpoyees spend more hours together thats why  good relations should be maintained as a basis for better productivity. some of the causes for poopr relations are unrealistic policies, delayed payments of staff salaries,   breach of terms and conditions in the contract, inability to perform, indicipline of staff as ,abuse of  office property, which in the long run lead to employement stress, staff withdrawal and burnout,low productivity, low morale among othres.
Mr Mukundane also noted how organisations can ensure better relations at work by: just treatment for all staff, timely conflict resolution, regular feedback on the organisational policies, attending social events of staff, building a good rapport with staff, providing employees with required materials.
He also advised the employers to always plan for gratuity of staff because it enhances staff stability.



Thursday, September 5, 2013

PROMOTING FARMERS ENTREPRENURSHIP IN MBALE DISTRICT.



Rwenzori Information Centers Network (RIC-NET) in partnership with Agri-ProFocus Uganda contributed towards “Promoting Farmer Entrepreneurship” in Mable District during the 4th Annual Farmers Symposium that was held on 29th August, 2013 at Maluka Grounds Mbale District. This was done through information and knowledge sharing during exhibitions and several presentations on Market Information to enable farmers know and understand better agribusinesses, marketing, Financial Products and services available in the Eastern region of Uganda.
Since 2008, RIC-NET  has been offering market  information services to its  farmers in Rwenzori region using various E-platforms like use of  Bulk SMS  direct on farmers  telephone numbers stored in RIC-NET data base   , use of an  agricultural portal with a link of market information linked  on RIC-NET website www.ricnet.co.ug ,  others access  agricultural information direct from office, office notice boards or at  RIC-NET information points down in their respective villages.  This has helped our farmers to improve on crop quality production for marketing and selling of their produce.
RIC-NET in its vision of having informed, wealthy and active citizens in a democratic society managed to host over 320 participants 98 of them being women, 153 being men and 69 as others including farmers, business institutions, students, local government officials, other exhibitors and others.
people accessing market information  from RIC-NET stall during exhibition at Maluka grounds Mbale District.

It was observed during the Market Event Symposium, that the people of Mbale districts and neighboring districts like Iganga, Sirironko Districts were hungry for information especially Crop Protection, Fish Farming, Arabic Coffee Growing, Chicken Rearing, Community Library Information, Potential Buyers in Northern, Eastern and Western regions of Uganda where they can export their products for better market prices.  Participants requested RIC-NET to extend its services in Mbale district so that a strong partinership can be established for development.
RDC Mbale signing in our visitors book.

The Market Event was preside over by Mr.Nangoz Umor, the RDC Mbale District who appreciated the excellent Work done by RIC-NET and other CSO in Market Information Sharing geared towards Community Development and Wealth Creation. He encouraged all participants, especially farmers to actively and continuously have the zeal for Information Access as the only tool towards their development.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

PLANT CLINIC STAKEHOLDERS MEET FOR NATIONAL EVALUATION



With over seven years of plant clinics program in Uganda, the National and regional stakeholders meet at Protea Hotel Kampala on 28th-29th August 2013 to evaluate the operations of the plant clinics.
The meeting organized by plant wise Uganda was facilitated by Frances Williams from Plant wise regional offices in Nairobi. 

session on stakeholders in plant clinics
While opening the meeting , the   Coordinator of plant clinics in Uganda  mentioned  that among the objectives of the workshop was to establish the  changes since 2011, how different organizations run clinics, propose a  plan for integration /harmonization of plant clinics  including monitoring and evaluation, identifying key issues for further study.

The participants in the workshop ranged from staff of plant wise,  the Ministry of  Agriculture , Animals & fisheries , lecturers and Professors from 
Makerere  University for technical back stopping , NARO, Local Government staff ( NAADs),  and Regional CSOs where RICNET participated with two staff Kyomuhendo Josely ne and Kaliba Charles. For the two days the participants concentrated on drawing the changes in the operations of the clinics since 2011 and the various stakeholders against the current   Program implementation. Among the issues agreed on   is that the plant clinics will have a   central data at the National   level fed in by data from the Districts.


Presentation on plant clinic changes
Currently there are thirty one (31) Districts in Uganda implementing the plant clinics through the Local implementing Partners as the Local Government, CSOs as RIC-NET implementing the project in kasese and Bundibugyo Districts, Self help Africa in Mukono and SOCADIDO in Soroti Districts . By the end of the workshop participants identified the input dealers & political leaders among the new category of promoters for the plant doctors , however for the smooth running of the program Plant wise  has engaged the facilitators from Maker ere university  department of Agriculture to technically   support the implementing partners in  plant clinics September 2013.



Stakeholders in the plant clinics
 
Districts with plant clinics