Agriculture minister Frank Tumwebaze has commended Grainpulse, a fertilizer company, for pioneering efforts to promote value-added production of local grains.
He said this after leading a top-level ministry delegation to the company factory in Mukono on August 29 and advised farmers to invest in domestic agricultural initiatives in order to succeed in farming.
Grainpulse is an integrated agribusiness company that produces crop-specific fertilizer blends for farmers while providing market access through offtake of farmers’ outputs such as coffee, grains and pulses.
“As government, we are working to reduce the price of inputs such as seed, fertilizers and other consumables used in farming value chain. One of the initiatives to bring down those costs is by government deliberately working with investments like Grainpulse because the company helps to reduce costs of operation,” Tumwebaze said.
“In the end, this cycle directly supports the farmer through improvement in the quality of their products. Of course, this is also determined by the farmer’s level of investment in the inputs.”
During the tour of the factory, Hannington Karuhanga, the board chairman of Grainpulse, revealed that the company has a capacity to produce 300,000 tonnes of fertilizer blends annually.
He also pointed out that much as they collaborate with farmers’ groups for value creation along the value chain, there is a prevailing challenge of small-holder farmers that lack logistical access to markets.
“The takeaway from here is a practical experience of value-addition through processing safe food into fertilizer. Our engagements with farmers have helped ensure that quality control is essential for sustainable agricultural business,” he said.
Alta Theron, the company CEO, said the company has created several employment opportunities to produce high-quality fertilizer blends.
“We provide a wide range of opportunities across various specialists like researchers, chemists, biologists, and agronomists to develop and improve fertilizer formulations as well as understanding plant nutrition and soil health to create effective fertilizer blends,” she said.
“We are also working with various groups of small-holder farmers for crop-specific fertilizer blends for coffee, banana, Irish potato and others.”