KadAfrica is the vision of Eric and Rebecca Kaduru—two young entrepreneurs who never imagined themselves living in the upcountry hills of Western Uganda, let alone farming! Located in Fort Portal, Uganda, the 27 acre KadAfrica Estate supplies fresh fruit and vegetables to lodges, hotels, and supermarkets in Kabarole District as well Uganda’s capital city, Kampala. KadAfrica looks to challenge the status quo though utilization of drip irrigation and greenhouse technology. Since its incorporation in May of 2011, the agribusiness is poised to become one of Uganda’s largest horticulture projects, and is currently Kabarole District’s largest drip-irrigated horticulture farm.
Through a strategic partnership solidified in July 2012 with the U.S. based venture capital firm, the Mango Fund, KadAfrica has moved into commercial production of export quality passion fruit. On its five-acre fully irrigated passion fruit plantation, KadAfrica supplies markets country wide as well as juice companies such as Coca Cola with fresh purple passion fruit for the production of juice and pulp. Additionally, KadAfrica passion fruit can now be found in markets in London, United Kingdom.
Amidst growing production levels and an expanding repertoire of produce, Eric and Rebecca strive to maintain a social aspect to KadAfrica. KadAfrica operates with the mission, “to empower the youth and small farmers, and equip them with new skills and techniques in production, quality packaging, and marketing for increased incomes,” which it achieves through the offering of trainings at the technologically equipped KadAfrica Estate in Kiburara village and at its teaching facility in the Rwengoma area of Fort Portal town.
KadAfrica further ensures a minimum of 50% of its employees are women in a community where women and young girls are usually uneducated, and expected to be the main breadwinners. Instead of hoping a small surplus can become income to support their families, KadAfrica employs and trains women and girls on how to maximize their yields for increased incomes. KadAfrica looks to end the cycle of women as subsistence farmers by providing them with the means necessary to feed their families and provide themselves and daughters with an education.
In May 2013, KadAfrica was able to scale up its model through a public-private partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Caritas, and the Catholic Diocese of Fort Portal. The Girls Agro INvestment (GAIN) project provides out of school girls with the financial, entrepreneurial, and life skills as well as physical resources, such as land and inputs, needed to provide sustainable livelihood options.
KadAfrica and CRS designed an innovative out grower model, where out of school girls are grouped throughout 6 parishes in Kyenjojo District on plots of between 1.5 to 3 acres to promote cooperative support, reduced transport costs, and bulk marketing of passion fruit. Girls are provided with a 240 square meter plot of land, 45 stems of passion fruit, and a ready market for their produce through KadAfrica. A unique feature and innovation of the GAIN program is the use of church land made available to landless GAIN members through a post-paid rental plan. This innovation helps address the lack of access to resources facing rural out of school girls, while allowing local church partners to introduce more sustainable development interventions and to use their local resources more strategically.
Over the 2.5 year project lifespan, 1,500 out of school girls will be trained in managing an agribusiness as well as learning to save and manage money. By October 2014, KadAfrica will be purchasing at fair market value an additional 87.5 acres of passion fruit under cultivation by the GAIN girls and transporting it for urban wholesale —making it one of the biggest horticulture projects in Uganda and the first to pilot the use of church land for commercial scale agribusiness development.
KadAfrica promotes entrepreneurship through agriculture as it challenges the cultural stereotypes that dictate sector development in Uganda. For more information on KadAfrica, email email@example.com. To make a donation to KadAfrica via PayPal, use the following link: KadAfrica.