Kampala, Uganda — More than 9,400 young women and men are set to benefit from a new partnership between Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), the country’s apex body for the private sector, and Agricyle Global, a social enterprise.
This Ugx 6 billion partnership includes a five-year project, “Global Agricultural Market Linkage for Youth and Young Mothers” (Gamlym) that will build new local markets for at least two local youth-led companies through distribution support. The project will also connect at least eight youth-led companies to global markets through high-level strategic partnerships. .
The partnership is in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation, as part of its Young Africa Works–Enhancing Lead Firm Structure for Youth Employment in Uganda initiative.
In his remarks, Samuel Yalew Adela, Country Head at the Mastercard Foundation Uganda said, “The Mastercard Foundation continues to double down on our commitment to enabling dignified and fulfilling work through our partnership with PSFU. We are excited to see the partnership evolve to include Agricycle Global and a double bottom line: creating new opportunities for young people while protecting our planet.”
Speaking at the launch ceremony held at the Agricycle Global offices in Luweero on Tuesday 12 October 2021, Josh Sheffner, CEO and Founder of Agricycle Global, said the partnership will contribute to the elimination of food waste while empowering women and youth across the country to secure dignified and fulfilling work.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that food losses in sub-Saharan Africa amount to $4 billion annually. The majority of food loss happens between harvest and the point of sale, with less waste by consumers after purchase. The leading causes of food loss in Africa include lack of cold chain facilities, especially for perishable food items, poor storage facilities, and insufficient agro-processing skills among smallholder farming communities.
“We have developed a four-pronged strategy focusing on distributed networks, appropriate technologies, storytelling, and village empowerment centres, where we will set up our dehydrators and processing sites for turning food waste into valuable products, which will then be exported and sold to global markets. Agricycle has already mobilized a 40,000-sized network of farmers across East Africa. About 1,000 of these are already in Uganda. Agricycle currently supplies to North America, Europe, and Asia, and has partnerships with over 10 county governments,” Josh Sheffner added.
Gamlym will be implemented in 17 districts in all the four major regions of Uganda, North (Kitugum, Lamwo, Pader, and Oyam), Central (Luwero, Kayunga, Kamuli, Nakaseke Mpigi), East (Jinja, Soroti, Serere, Ngora, and Amuria), and West (Ntungamo, Rwampara, and Bushenyi). The primary focus will be on the following produce: jackfruit, pineapples, sweet potatoes, mangoes, cassava, green matooke, apples, bananas as well as vegetables, chia, and sesame.
In 2020, Agricycle connected at least 1,000 women and youth to its global markets, resulting in a cumulative income of UGX 460 million and hopes to connect 10,000 more youth, women, and smallholder farmers into its network in 2022 with earnings no less than 2 billion UGX.
Representing the Executive Director at the launch, Apollo Muyanja, Project Director at PSFU said, “Through this partnership, there are numerous benefits to be gained such as youth enterprises will have new and high revenue streams, youth owned companies will get international exposure and recognition and they will also get affordable financing to invest in their businesses.”
Hon. Victoria Sekitoleko, Vice Chairperson of the PSFU Board, added that, “According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries National Strategy for Youth Employment in Agriculture, the agricultural sector employs about 65% of the working population, of which 63% are youth. However, over 92% of the youth in employment are poor and they represent some of the biggest cohorts when it comes to extreme poverty. This partnership is therefore a welcome venture that will contribute to reshaping this reality and I urge other private organisations to take on similar initiatives to support the youth and inevitably, the growth of the economy.”
The partnership is launching in advance of World Food Day on October 16th 2021 under the theme “Our actions are our future - better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life”.
PSFU is the anchorimplementing partner of the Young Africa Works strategy in Uganda, and through the Lead Firm Structure Project aims to create a total of 300,000 work opportunities. The targeted sectors are agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, and construction & housing with 70% of the participants being young women. To date, the project has generated up to 155,557 potential work opportunities through 22 Lead Firms.
For more information, contact;
Tel: +256 758976105
Tel: +256 775 485 525
Eleni Constantine White
Strategy Lead, Program Communications
Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) is Uganda’s apex body for the private sector. It is made up of over 200 business associations, corporate bodies and the major public sector agencies that support private sector growth. Since its founding in 1995, PSFU has served as a focal point for private sector advocacy as well as capacity building and continues to sustain a positive policy dialogue with Government on behalf of the private sector. PSFU aims to strengthen Private Sector capacity for effective policy advocacy and market competitiveness nationally, regionally and internationally. Regionally, PSFU is the national focal point for the East African Business Council (EABC) and the COMESA Business Council (CBC).
About Agricycle Global
Agricycle was founded as a social enterprise and Wisconsin Benefit Corporation. Agricycle seeks to eliminate extreme rural poverty for women, youth, refugees, smallholders and other populations who are especially vulnerable or disenfranchised. Agricycle’s powerful model of connecting food loss, empowerment and market development has created a network of 40,000 smallholder farmers globally. In Uganda, Agricycle operates in 17 districts in Central, North and Eastern Uganda and has a network of 1,000 members and producers.
About Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org
About Young Africa Works
Young Africa Works is the Mastercard Foundation’s strategy to enable 30 million young people, particularly young women, across Africa to access dignified and fulfilling work. Africa will be home to the world’s largest workforce, with 375 million young people entering the job market by 2030. With the right skills, these young people will contribute to Africa's global competitiveness and improve their lives and those of their communities. The Mastercard Foundation will implement Young Africa Works in 10 African countries in collaboration with governments, private sector, entrepreneurs, educators, and young people. The first phase of countries identified by the Mastercard Foundation are Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Nigeria.