Tony Olipa (R) at his ware house during a visit by Stanbic Bank in Lira during the Farm Clinic. Photo by Edgar R Batte Lira District is booming with trade. The district in the northern Uganda region which is recovering from many years of insurgency inflicted upon it by the LRA war, is fast becoming a centre of commodities exchange with all major cash crops being grown and supplied in the region.
On a normal day, Lira Town is a bee hive of activity with trucks either offloading or being loaded with bags of cash crops such as cotton, sunflower destined for different factories across the country.
Many players in the agricultural value chain in this region are middlemen who buy from the farmers at the village level and sell to big volume buyers who then supply the large companies such as Mukwano Industries or MMP AgroWays who buy large volumes of the different cash crops.
Many farmers who have been able to expand in the last 10 years attest to using financial service vehicles to either scale up or help them honour their contractual obligations as suppliers.
One such person is Bosco Erach, the proprietor of Pite Yela Enterprises who is one of the largest supplies of grain, sesame and cotton to different factories.
Erach, who has more than 100 agents across six districts, says he constantly needs cash flows to be able to deploy the agents to buy the produce from the farmers at the village level and transport the crops to his central warehouse based in Lira Town.
“As a grain dealer selling a variety of grain and other cash crops to companies like Mukwano and MMP Agro Industries, I work with agents who constantly need money to be able to buy the produce and maintain our stock levels. This usually requires a lot of money especially in the peak seasons when the crops are being harvested,” he says.
He adds, “I approached Stanbic Bank for financing since I already had a personal account with them. They accepted to give me a loan of Shs100m which enabled me to buy the produce and pay farmers to allow me to supply and honour my contractual obligations with the companies that I supply.”
With time, Erach was able to formerly register his business in order to obtain more funding from Stanbic Bank. He says having a good […]