YAP Proposal #92: “Buy Vegetables on-line, and avoid the market!” (Beckie Nakabugo, Uganda)

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My name is Beckie Nakabugo, I studied Interior design in Kenya however I always had passion for agriculture. I am 32 years old and I am the coordinator of the Uganda Youth Agripreneurs (UYA) from Mukono, Uganda.

An elder leased us 5 acres of farm land for 5 years where we cultivate native and exotic vegetables. Our first target was the traditional marketing system where we sold our produce to the traders in the wee hours of the day. This system presented many challenges, harvesting in the evening and the following early morning delivering to the markets (around 3am!) so that freshness is not lost along the chain and we are also there to compete with other farmers! However, we realized that despite a lot of effort was put in; our benefits were very small as there are many other producers in the market.

Faced by these challenges, we decided to target the higher end market in order to realize profits. The first questions popped up: who could be the high end market customers??? Who has money and willingness to buy high quality vegetables? After some discussions we decided to target the staff of organizations and/or companies.

We developed an online form (http://goo.gl/forms/wmYuPcvGcR) through which we interface with our clients. The idea is simple as figure one below illustrates: the customers fill and submit the form with their order before Thursday at 4pm (1), UYA prepare the order (2) and on Friday before 4pm we deliver the order straight to your table in your office (3), giving the customer the pleasure to enjoy the hassle-free fresh and healthy vegetables (4).

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The first two weeks were good. However the customers told us that if they only buy what we produce they will still have to go to the market. So if we wanted to maintain them as customers we needed to work toward the objective of providing enough variety for them avoiding going to the market. Therefore, more items were needed in our ordering form!

The community empowerment and UYA as facilitator!

So, next step was and is to involve our community in this agribusiness. We are currently sourcing some of the products from the farming community nearby but working with the objective to organize farmer groups that produce other vegetables and agri-products so they can supply us on weekly basis with high quality products. This is not an easy task as farmers groups are not very organize, the produce is based on rainfed agriculture and sometimes they lack knowledge on soil fertility management and on how to protect the corps against pests and diseases.

The environmental innovation and creation of opportunities for other age brackets!

Recently, Uganda passed a law that banned the plastic bags. There is however still a big struggle with this challenge in the community. In this era of climate change, UYA did not want to do ‘business as usual’ but we are seeking to do business in an environmental friendly manner! Therefore we are collaborating with Bukadde Magezi Women’s group for old and widow women and they make ecofriendly baskets out of natural papyrus fibers that we sell to our customers, this help us to reduce packaging providing and ecofriendly solution while at the same time helping our community members.

We want to expand! Let’s make some profit in Agriculture

We are sure this project will succeed in Kampala (Uganda), our orders has been increasing since we started, nowadays we are supplying in 2 offices, but we want to expand. However it is not easy, we face some challenges: (i) Not enough constant supply from our farm and the farmers in our community, (ii) lack of knowledge on ICT and marketing strategies, (iii) lack of funds to brand and advertise our products (iv) limitation on rainfed agriculture on open field and (v) transport constrains.

So with the money of this grant we will – timeframe of 6 months:

  1. Provide trainings to our farmers in our community to achieve constant quality supply: $700
    1. Best agronomics practices
    2. Detection on pests and diseases and how to control them
    3. Post-harvest handling
  2. For the UYA group – $2,500
    • To get some trainings to improve on:
      1. Agronomic knowledge – Smart climate technologies
      2. Developing knowledge on ICT s
      3. Marketing skills
    • Simple irrigation system for part of our farm
    • Getting some funds for labor in our farm
  • Branding and advertising $1,500
    • Communication
  1. Transport $300

With this grant we will improve our project, create job opportunities while improving the system within our farming community. Ask me as many questions as you might have!

Blogpost and picture submitted by Beckie Nakabugo (Uganda) – ugandayouthagripreneurs[at]gmail.com

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.


This post is published as proposal #92 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.

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“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.


166 thoughts on “YAP Proposal #92: “Buy Vegetables on-line, and avoid the market!” (Beckie Nakabugo, Uganda)

      1. Thank you very much Kessy! We,the youth, we need an opportunity to be able to make a leaving, and we are lucky as we found our passion, agriculture and our idea to move forward!

      1. Thank you so much Roger! We also hope so! Please share this link to all your friends! The more comments the more chances to go through the next phase

  1. Fantastic proposal. it would be great to also understand your customer most preferred or most demanded items this would help you invest more or target those products. this is a nice project

    1. Thank you Moses for your comment, we are working on it! At the beginning we did a small market research but now that we have our own customers, we realize that their preferences are a bit different. For example, our customers love spinach, and that’s why this season we grown them in our farm as well!

  2. Dear Beckie, I’m very impressed with the work you have done so far and with this project proposal. I hope it gets selected as finalist, and you and the youth group have the chance to go to Johannesburg and defend it! Good luck!

    1. Thank you Sylvia for your comment. The idea is to start small but to grow big. We are planning to star with the farmers close to us first. We want to pass some knowledge of better agriculture practise on what they grow but also to introduce other high value vegetables to them.

  3. Very cool!!! I will sign up for this. It is a great idea! We have similar programs in the US for home delivery of vegetables and they work very well it seems. Also, you can present at our Green Drinks social networking event in May to promote this idea and get more customers and support!

    1. Thank you Jessica for your comment! I am happy you like our idea! We will be very happy to present our project in the Green Drinks social networking event!

    1. Thanks Monica for your comment! It change a bit every week but around 10-15. If we expand, as we are planing we will need many more to be able to provide this service to more offices

  4. Hey, I think it is a very good idea to improve both the producers and the final consumers.

    The first ones could focus on the production and get an improvement in their quality of live. The seconds could recieve a better service.

    Great idea!

    1. Thanks Josep Anton, I think that this project takes into consideration many aspects! First the youth but not only as we are working close with our community farmers and non farmers and as you well said we are try to provide quality products to our customers! We are working very hard!

  5. Thanks Beckie for the brilliant initiative. With all those ideas put together, you can actually achieve more especially with the climate smart agriculture to ensure continuous supply and meet market demands. All the best

    1. Thank you Kennedy for your comment! Irrigation is a big challenge and more nowadays with Climate Change being so present here, we no longer know when the rainy seasons start! So our idea is to get open field irrigation to at least have part of our garden producing all year around!

  6. Good innovation Beckie! I am particularly impressed with the community involvement in supplying vegetables and eco-friendly baskets.

    1. Thanks Immaculate for your comment! We take very seriously the need of take care of the environment. We are trying our best to reduce the plastic use.

    1. Dear Victor, thank you so much for your encouragement! We are always happy to work or share ideas with other farmers, researchers, private sector, university… the more we learn from each other better outcomes we will get!

    1. Thank you Crespo for your support! We are also in touch with some farmers from VEDCO and we know that you are doing a great job in our district!!

    1. Thanks Moses for your comment! That’s also one of our selling marketing points! Traffic can be so bad in Kampala! So you can avoid it for going to the market as you will get your fresh vegetables deliver to you!

      1. Indeed very great idea you deserve the grant to implement these activities and i believe this could be another platform to showcase the opportunities the youth have at their disposal, the success of this project would redefine the attitude of youth towards agriculture. Brilliant indeed.All the best

  7. This is one of the bests proposals! The money of this grant would definitely be well invested. Not only for the improvement of your production quality and the potential future job opportunities, but also for the environment, through your eco-friendly initiatives. Very nice, good luck!

    1. Thank you Josep Maria for your comment! We believe luck is important but more important is our hard work to succeed!

  8. Waw! I like this project very much. I would like living in Uganda in order to consume your fresh produce. I hope you had good luck, you deserve it.

    1. Dear Montse thank you for your comment. Who know we might export in the future so if we do so we will let you know 🙂

    1. Dear jmartipedragosa, thank you for your comment. Trust of our customers is very important! We have been working not to lose it as some times we have some challenges!

    1. Dear Tabitha, thank you very much for your comment. Farmers in our community express the challenges they have with market, specially when in the rainy season there is too much produce out and the prices drop.

    1. Dear Patricia! Thank you very much for your comment. We need to be ecofriendly whil we do great business in agriculture!

    1. For now we are delivering from Mukono to Kampala (Naguru) in two building offices, but we are planning to expand.

    1. Thank you so much Antonio to take some minutes of our time to read our project and to leave a comment

      1. Such an idea for the youth it’s great keep on going who is near give a hand…. congratulations for such encouragement…

  9. Great initiative! I like the idea of your online forms but I have a question: Are planning to create a website? maybe that could help as we could see the products and your facilities as well as order online!?

    1. Thanks for such a great comment entorrat. We are thinking which is the best option if a blog or a web. But we sure need to start working on it. We need to communicate to the world and internet is a great tool to do so.

  10. Uaauu! It’s a great iniciative!! It sounds really interesting! Till now, how do you get to reach to everybody? It has to be very dificult! I love the idea to involve so many people and local groups! Congratulations!

    1. Dear Laia, thank you so much for your comment. It is hard at the beginning as we need the email of the costumer. Nowadays when we arrive to the office where we deliver new people see us with the vegetables and they ask to join. we also get more customers when our customers talk to their friends and colleagues.

  11. Great Idea, How many farmers (Youth) are involved in the production and marketing of these vegetables?

    1. Our group is small, we are around 10. We are know recruiting more members as we have lot of work and few hands!! We are also in contact with other youth groups like the Slow Food Youth Network!

    1. Thanks Jake! We also think that this project if it grows as plan we can create lot of unemployment specially within the youth!

  12. Dear Becky,

    Its agood initiative that keeps the youth busy and active while at the same time earning a living

    May God richly bless this project

    kind regards
    Ruthie

    1. Dear Ruthie,

      Thank you for taking time to read and comment our project. We are indeed very busy and full of ideas and energy to work hard to move this project forward.

  13. I am conviced. If I had the $5000, I would give it to you. I feel bad when young Ugandans cry about jobs yet the potential in agriculture is not even half way exploited. Go and make it even bigger whether you win the fund or not. Wish you success.

    1. Thank you so much Christopher for your comment. We are passionate about agriculture and we think that we can make a living out of it! Many youth want to but they don’t know why. We are lucky we have many partners and many ideas to move forward!

  14. I’m lucky enough to be in one of the offices to which Beckie and her group delivers. What a great service! And I have been impressed with the enthusiasm of the team, willingness to listen to the customer and respond to suggestions, not to mention the quality of vegetables supplied. What I love is that some of my shopping is done online and supplied to the office before I leave on Friday. And I love even more is that these youth are showing initiative, doing a great job AND making jobs!

    1. Thank you so much Anna-Marie! We are working very hard to always improve our service and we are happy you are happy about our products! We will keep working hard to improve and add more products and to give you a great service!! See you next Friday 🙂

  15. Beckie, every Friday I look forward to buying your fresh supplies. Your are very innovative and hardworking. Thanks. The online orders and the recipes you send to us are very much appreciated too. Keep it up. You are the young people our nation yarns for.

    1. Dear Rachel, thank you so much to be such a good customer and also to take time to comment in our project. We love you like the healthy vegetables recipes that we send every week!

  16. This is an innovative idea. We are already benefiting form this service at the door steps of our offices

  17. For real this a good idea it saves time for those who spend most of their day in office and have no time to buy from open market.

    1. Thank you so much Denis for your comment! It is true that our customers have little time to go to the market and that help us to develop further these ideas.

  18. As long as you’ve the passion and are willing to work hard, you’ll have everything in this world.
    Go girl, love this already.

  19. The Uganda Youth Agripenuers (UYA) is the answer to the challenges of climate change and growing youth unemployment affecting many developing countries including Uganda. You are an inspiration.

    1. Thank you very much Dennis for your comment! We think more jobs can be created out of agriculture and we hope our initiative can really help.

    1. Thanks John, now that yo in Kampala I am kindly requesting you to submit in. Order form before Thursday evening vegetables will be at our service always.

    1. Thanks Mercy,we would love to have this project expand to Bornu states in Nigeria which I know can happen. Now you are going to be the first ambassador to exercise it in Nigeria with the Youth from Bornu state.

  20. Great innovation Beckie. The idea will definately be most welcome in the various upcoming organised communities/ housing Estates especialy if you can meet the required supplies. It means reduced market congestion and traffic jam. The introduction of the busket is good for the invironment, reminds me of the
    Kikapu busket which was replaced by polyethlen bags.
    Good luck.
    Seppie.

    1. Dear Seppie, thank you so much for your comment! We have plans to expand and to reach many other offices. Let’s work hard and let’s try to succeed!

    1. Dear Joseph we hope to create more employment within the agriculture sector. At the same time we are providing knowledge to many farmers in our community. That’s is also improtant to improve the economy as the more modern farming they learn the bigger will be their production and therefore our commercial farmers will grow bigger.

  21. great initiative Becky, Agriculture is the way to go and the only way youth can be preoccupied instead of being on the streets looking for jobs. i like the idea & it shows Uganda is moving forward. Bigups!!!!!!

    1. Dear Hadijah than you very much for your comment! We see agriculture as business! we belive we can live out of agriculture!!

  22. Interesting innovation Becky! I love the ecofriendly bags and yes it needs to be branded… Hoping you cab win the grant and be able to brand your products and/or produce

    1. Thank you Allenisfine for your comment! The branding part is still very poor in our project. If we win this grant we will work hard to brand and improve our marketing skills.

  23. Youth engagement in agriculture is the key to overcoming the rampant unemployment affecting many communities. I believe UYA is a step in the right direction.

  24. That’s a great initiative to reach out to people who may not have time to hustle in the market. I would very much love to have such vegetables fresh from the garden. Keep it up

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