Hi readers! My name is Job Osuret, a Ugandan by nationality, aged 32, and a holder of both a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Diploma in Business Administration Majoring in Accounting. Currently I’m based in my home district of Kumi in Eastern Uganda, approximately 450 Kilometers east of the capital, Kampala.
My life vision is of propelling myself, my family, my community and younger generations toward self-empowered futures. I want to move people from ‘a good idea’ to appreciating the sense of achievement in arriving at that idea’s manifestation.
To move oneself and ones community from a mindset of those unfulfilling notions of ‘one day maybe we could…’, to satisfying engagement and completion, is the best feeling there can be.
This I have sought to achieve by utilizing the combined and abundant natural resources at our disposal here in Uganda: land, favorable climate, and our largely untapped resource of youthful human energy.
Through well strategized and planned agricultural development I am, and with YAPS support, will continue to, expand and develop circumstances in which those involved can create positive and personally empowered changes such as we all seek! In doing so my aim is to set a role model legacy for generations to come.
The population increases ahead can be scary for sure. Uganda’s 34 million population (2016) will double within just 17 years! Similar increases are expected throughout Africa and indeed much of the developing world.
It has been recognized in many global economic discussions that food production and supply for this demanding market is increasingly critical, necessary, and simply good business.
Upland (‘dry’) rice growing on 15 acres of customarily owned land using proven scientific methods and objective environmental considerations, which provide opportunity for high quality, high volume yields, employment of the local community, and supply to the market of this high demand product at competitively affordable prices.
In the course of this undertaking, community members will learn and be able to emulate the project, having attained the benefits of more productive scientific farming methods as opposed to the traditional methods.
Opportunities of further skill development will also be available by value-adding processes beyond the growing process. These include: grading of yield, storage, ‘reading’ the market (when to sell or store), packaging, and sale methodologies, followed by delivery to urban centers.
I have spoken above of the high demand and need for food for a rapidly increasing market. In acknowledging this and in pursuing their Millennium Development Goals, the Governments of East Africa have embarked on supporting free rural sensitization programs to improve farming methods.
In this general undertaking to achieve food security levels via well managed projects such as the one I propose, local household incomes and wealth will improve, with add-on effects within Uganda’s wider economy and those of our neighboring countries.
Steps to achieving the above
Firstly, to conduct a feasibility study to ensure developing the project beyond the initial 15 acres proposed here is feasible. It will also be important to liaise with the district Agricultural Officers (if and as required) to provide additional technical support and guidance on any expansion of the project beyond the present 15 acres. Also their inclusion is diplomatically and culturally appropriate.
Working hand in hand with the local government authorities and publicizing the projects intentions and potential benefits ensures the support of local community. And of course keeping an eye out for addition small grants for start-up is a good idea (hopefully YAP!).
Achievements to date
I commenced in 2014 and have successfully farmed 8 out of the available 15 acres using the straight raw planting method with K-85 paddy rice introduced by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
My Project manager Patrick Okalang received invaluable training from JICA at this time. Yields were high and net profits most encouraging in 4 out of 5 harvests since commencing, with the exception being a dry spell of Jan-May 2015.
In terms of measurable success, it has been terrific. Since commencing I have purchased a nice piece of land and built my own home. This satisfying endeavor has convinced me of expanding and indeed that with training and guidance, others will also be able to achieve encouraging success such as I have.
Rice production has a solid, rapidly expanding market and provides me with a satisfying and profitable business model that I wish to further develop and share. It’s an exciting endeavor full of proven potential!
The $5000 grant would cover:
Tools, seed, fertilizers, labor (ground prep, planting, weeding, harvest) $2,000
Rice mill and engine for post-harvest prep $2571
Transport of harvest approx. $429
These items will be procured over a period of 2 months.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Job Osuret (Uganda) – jobbosuret[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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