YAP proposal #423: Banana ‘Wine’ in Uganda (Bagada Monday Richard, Uganda)

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I’m Bagada Monday Richard, 32, and a Ugandan. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in agribusiness management and am also in advanced stages of finishing a Master’s degree in agribusiness management from Makerere University.

I hail from one of the most marginalized regions in Uganda. Having had a troubled past, Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom remains heavily underdeveloped and people’s access to services is still very low; below the national average.

Uganda is one the leading banana producers in the world and is ranked second in the world to India in terms of Banana production. Bananas are an important economic resource for rural farmers in Uganda. With a total annual production estimated at about 10 megatonnes, the crop ranks high among enterprises that support livelihoods of smallholder poor rural farming communities.

About 75% of Ugandan farmers grow the crop on 1.5 million hectares of land, an estimated 38% of arable land under use. Domestic per-capita consumption of bananas in Uganda is estimated at 220–460 kg: the largest in the world.

In an effort to change and empower the community, I started a one-acre banana plantation. As an agriculturalist, I made sure that I got the right banana varieties that were free from diseases. I had to buy tissue cultured banana seedlings from around 250 km away.

Interestingly, when I successfully managed to get my banana seedlings to my village, this draw a crowd of onlookers as most of them thought these were flowers and not banana seedlings. Indeed this was the first time many of my village mates had seen banana seedlings.

I took time to explain to them including the advantages of planting these varieties. After over one year when I had planted these (Flowers) turned banana seedlings, my farm become a beehive of activity and a village model as most of my village mates are coming to see the bananas and obviously the good agricultural practices at the farm.

I started training farmers and distributed the small amount of suckers to the other farmers such that they can start producing their own Bananas. I have also secured more seedlings and also planted some of the suckers from my plantation.

I am now boosting of two acres of banana plantation and still growing more. I have started harvesting some of the bananas and I quickly realized the need for value addition for increased incomes, employment opportunities and community empowerment.

Banana ‘wine’ production

Wine production is little known in Uganda. However, this is changing and thanks to the bananas. With an increasing middle income class in Uganda, wine consumption has increased and indeed has a promising future.

Early this year I started a winery and with help of two young men we have stocked up to 20 jerry cans of banana wine that’s undergoing fermentation. This will be ready for sale by August this year.

The sweet banana wine will be the first to be produced from this part of the world. The La Grande wine will be bottled and marketed with the region.

Given the peace and stability that has started to prevail in South Sudan and DR Congo, I believe this is a potential market for The L Grande wines.

The community will indeed benefit from producing bananas to supply the winery but also through employment opportunities provided by the winery. This will strongly impact on the lives of the community and help to uplift the living standards of the community.

Impact

What motivates me is to really create impact in the community through the value chain approach. I believe that through banana production farmers will have a market for their produce and also be food secure in their homes. Through this approach we shall help to empower communities to become financially stable as well as ensure food security in their homes.

Once chosen as the YAP champion, I will use the funds as follows:

  • USD 1,000 training of farmers in agronomy and good agricultural practices for banana production
  • USD 1,000 for procurement of banana seedlings for the farmers groups
  • USD 2,000 for procurement of winery production and bottling materials
  • USD 1,000 for Uganda Bureau of Standards certification process.

 

Blogpost and picture submitted by Bagada Monday Richard (Uganda): bagada[at]hotmail.com

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

 

This post is published as proposal #523 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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29 thoughts on “YAP proposal #423: Banana ‘Wine’ in Uganda (Bagada Monday Richard, Uganda)

    1. Thank you so much fresh. I believe this can help smallholder farmers to have food and income in their pockets. Warmest greetings fro Uganda

  1. This is a great innovation. This will help in value addition and increase incomes to the farmers, create employment to other youths thus reducing on the poverty levels.

    1. Much appreciation Viola, i believe this is a practical solution for improving rural livelihoods through the value chain approach!!!

  2. This is avery good idea given the fact Uganda depends so much on agriculture. You deserve to be entrusted to change the country. Thank you Richard

    1. Thank you Ritah, i believe we need to focus and build agribusiness enterprises for the development of the community and modernization of agriculture

  3. What a Success so far and Thanks be to God! Training and capacity building of farmers is a sure strategy. Please keep the novelty going and we’ll all benefit. Greetings and appreciation from Lusaka, Zambia.

  4. This is good Richard, glad to hear that you’ve started on it as well. waiting for the first production to be ready and we sample it :). On the other hand this is a very good step towards development. Hope you can train and empower as many youths as possible. All the best.

  5. Hello Richard that is great and as far as i know you, given the chance you can even be in position to even create more opportunities for others who are jobless in addition to increasing income to the government coffers through taxation base please keep it up bigman many successes.

  6. This is an unprecedented pragmatic innovation that will address the paucity of value addition options. It also has great potential to scale. I am curious about ways of linking these small holder farmers to the bigger east African market without being exploited by middlemen. One quick thought is a mini cooperative model to increase bargaining power.

  7. An Agribusiness project managed by an agribusiness professional is likely to succeed and impact on the lives of the community.

  8. Richard, this is the way to go; as an agricultural officer I find value addition as the spring board for increased agricultural production. And with the Banana Enterprise having a very high demand, where its marketing and net profits are far better than maize then sky is the limit

  9. That’s the way to Go. I like the part especially were you are looking at turning the Bananas into finished product. That’s
    commendable. Great work

  10. Hi Richard, please send me your contact details. We are based in Johannesburg (South Africa) doing publicity for the G-CARD3 conference. There’s a radio show that would like to do an interview with you about your involvement with G-Card, as well as your YAP proposal.

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