I am Esther Ajambo, 29 years of age, from the Eastern part of Uganda in Namayingo District. I have good spoken proficiency and understanding of English, Samia and Luganda. I hold a degree in Management Science with an Accounting major from Kyambogo University, and I am experienced in Accounting, Business management and Entrepreneurship skills.
I have a passion for working with communities, transforming them and improving their standards of living by encouraging them to do business and being innovative. I am currently based in Kampala Uganda, working with NUCAFE, a farmer-based organization.
For NUCAFE I am a project accounts assistant with 5 years of experience working with farmers all over the country in all four major coffee growing region. I have helped train farmers on how to own their own coffee business, farming as a family business and also sensitizations in household gender equity.
I am proposing a diesel maize/cassava mill to service the remote Budimo Village, Buyinja Sub-County in Namayingo District (Eastern Uganda). The mill will buy maize and produce maize meal with bran as a by-product. Currently, maize available in this area can see as much as a 15% cost increase due to transportation charges if and when it is available.
This machine will attract more farmers to process their products, thus the processing costs after the one year of the project will be able to cover the expenditures like labor, repairs and maintenance of the grinding mill.
The desire to ensure community development of the rural people is my motivation for doing this project. Below are some of the objectives the project is aiming at:
- Increased value addition in order to lead to increased prices,
- Creation of job opportunities for youth in a rural area,
- Provision of cheaper milling services and reduction of transportation costs.
To ensure the future viability of the agricultural sector, tackle rural poverty and generate employment opportunities in Uganda, it is of paramount importance that young farmers are furnished with the right tools. Besides equipping them, fostering their involvement in agricultural activities and decision-making processes should be prioritized.
Establishing a maize/cassava mill will add value to their products, increase food security in the area (because processing their products increases the shelf life of the cassava and maize), create jobs for the youth and enhance access to market for their products. The mill will attract youth to participate in processing as casual laborers.
Farmers will be able to process their produce into flour, a more readily utilizable product that easier to market. Quality improvement is also my aim because currently they use local tools like grinding stones for processing, which mixes their food with stones. This is dangerous to their health and also requires a lot of energy.
I have already carried out a survey on how many households are engaged in maize/cassava growing and what problems are hindering them. I have also personally engaged in maize growing on a 2-acre piece of land as an example to the rural communities.
Some of the activities that will be carried out include:
- Establishment of the Maize/cassava grinding mill and building the house where it will be stationed,
- Hiring a machine operator,
- Solicitation of suggestions from the community about the mill and whether processing prices are high or favorable,
- Continuous analysis of the daily records book of how the revenues are coming in and what profit is being got,
- Opening up of a separate project account to manage the incomes that come in,
- Frequent visits to the mill to carry out surveys,
- Monitoring and evaluation to find out if the project is benefiting the community and if the profits are being realized at minimal expenses. Statistics to be monitored are the monthly percentage increase of profits /revenue is, increase in maize production per season, quality improvement and the number of processed bags that are being taken to the market as finished goods.
Maize mill building set-up: USD $194 in the first month.
Maize mill machine purchase: USD $974 during the second month.
Labor costs and start-up expenses like fuel, marketing the mill around the area: USD $2,839 third and fourth months to the twelfth month.
Operational costs: USD $801from the first month to the twelfth month.
Monitoring and Evaluation: USD $194, to be done quarterly.
Value addition for improved quality produce, increased production and farmer ownership of their produce is of paramount importance. Therefore, working hand in hand to help these farmers achieve their targets is the only solution. Good finances are the main key to their success.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Esther Ajambo (Kampala, Uganda) – e.ajambo[at]yahoo.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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