When Christine Alimo started working with Oasis Agribusiness Uganda Limited as an input Agent close to two years ago, she knew she was addressing an unmet need. “I’m happy that my business is a solution to my community.” Proudly expressed Christine. Christine is providing affordable agricultural inputs in Apedet village, Abim district situated in the Karamoja sub-region. Prior to Oasis’ intervention, access to agricultural inputs was a very big challenge in Christine’s community, as people had to travel for long distances and incur high transport costs to access the same. As such, Christine has a good number of customers who support her input business.
On average, Christine attends to about ten walk-in customers daily (some buy instantly while others inquire and buy later) at her outlet and makes substantial profits. In return, Christine takes customers through the safe use of some chemicals like fertilizers that would potentially damage lives if not well handled as well as enlighten them on good agronomic practices. “I always tell my customers to put on full protective gear while spraying their gardens and to keep the chemicals safely away from the reach of children.” Christine passionately mentioned. She added, “I also advise them on when to weed and spray their gardens. I learned this during the training in Kaweta.”
Christine is an input sales agent with Oasis who sells inputs like Bazooka DK, sunflower, and Champion; a farmer dealing in majorly maize; an aggregator doing bulking of maize, green gram, and rice and a leader of a Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA). Thanks to the USAID-funded Feed the Future Uganda Inclusive Agricultural Markets (FtF IAM) Activity in partnership with Oasis Agribusiness (U) Limited, Christine’s agricultural business is flourishing!
While Christine works with guidance from Oasis, she attended a farming and business training in Kaweta which was conducted by Oasis with support from FtF IAM. She acquired skills in best agronomic practices, business planning, and management, and safe use of pesticides among others, which have enabled her to manage her business better. Oasis has also linked Christine to ready markets in Soroti and Lira that buy her agricultural produce at a favorable price. Additionally, Oasis facilitated Christine to get a loan of UGX. 2000,000 that has greatly boosted her business. Today Christine’s agricultural business is booming like never and her income and standards of living have improved tremendously.
“I’m able to comfortably pay my children’s school fees, something I used to struggle with previously, I was able to contribute an amount of UGX. 800,000 to buying our family bike which has eased our movement, I recently bought a piece of land of about 15 by 30 feet in size and I’m also in a position to financially support my husband, Mr. Okello Samson who is currently doing training in the army.” Christine joyously testified.
In the future, Christine plans to diversify the business by investing in a more yielding big seeded groundnut variety, making liquid soap, and constructing on her piece of land so that she can save the money she spends on rent. Christine also aspires to inspire young women in her village to work and make some money.
Author: Dorothy Nabatanzi for FtF IAM