Some of the women who exhibited their products at the trade show. The stood out because of the NAWOU branded materials they wore.
Milka Katende cannot believe her luck at being chosen to showcase her products at an event as big as the Jinja agricultural show. “I have never participated as an exhibitor at such a big trade fair. I have always participated as a visitor,” she says. The Jinja Agricultural Show is an annual event organized by Uganda National Farmer’s Federation to create a “platform for displaying and identifying innovations made by local and foreign companies through improved technologies for better production, marketing and poverty eradication.” This year focused on managing the challenges of climate change through climate smart agriculture.
Milka, a member of Kyalugoddo Women’s Development Association in Luwero showcased dried mushroom, hibiscus powder, briquettes, beaded bags and herbal health soap. NAWOU facilitated 10 women group representatives to participate in the event with the intention of developing women’s capacities and potential to actively participate in business and entrepreneurship and favorably compete in the economic market. This platform would enable the women to sell their products to a new market, expose them to new knowledge and skills, new innovations and technologies in agriculture and trade sectors, help establish strategic partnerships and networks to link them to available markets for their products.
Milka interacts with a customer during the show
Milka was able to make 389,000 UGX in sales against stock worth 390,000UGX. She felt that the event was worth it.
“The show has been a good opportunity since it has exposed me to new learning. I have interacted with over 80 people at our stall who have expressed interest in our projects and promised to visit my group for further trainings in making beaded bags, mushroom growing, making of herbal soap and briquette production. I also linked up with women from Hoima district with whom we have planned to have an exchange learning visit to share ideas and learn from each other. This show has built my marketing and customer management skills. I have learnt that strong branding of the stall adds more value to the products being sold so next time we must improve on our branding to attract many customers. I learnt a lesson of being patient with clients because not everyone buys. I thank NAWOU for the good facilitation during the show.”
Her colleague Nabunya Jane, Chairperson of Katukole Women’s Group in Wobulenzi Town Council says;
“This show has given me the opportunity to strongly network with expert producers of charcoal briquettes since my group was one of those groups chosen to benefit from the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Program (UWEP) under Ministry of Gender. The Ministry is going to support us to buy a briquette making machine to help in quality production of charcoal briquettes. This event gave me an opportunity to do more research on how we would successfully engage in the business of briquette production. I have received adequate information from successful producers of briquettes which will be of great use to the group to support our business.”
Jane is proud of the achievements she made at the trade show
The groups whose members participated in the show included; Bazira Women’s Group in Luwero Town Council, Kyalugodo Women’s Development Association in Katikamu Sub county, Luwero Women Living with Disabilities in Luwero Town Council, Kwegata Gemanyi Women’s Development Association in Luwero Sub county, Katukole Women’s Group in Wobulenzi Town Council, Abakyala Tukolere Wamu Women’s Group in Kalagala Sub County, Bajjabasaga Sweet Potato Growers and Processors Association in Nyimbwa Sub County, Bombo Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Bombo Town Council, Nalwana Women’s Development Association in Nyimbwa Sub county, and Agali Awamu Women’s Group in Nyimbwa Sub County.
The women show cased; dried oyster mushrooms, beans, sweet banana, dried fruits, dried vegetables, orange sweet potato products i.e. vines, floor and daddies, crafts (baskets, Nubian crafts, mats, beaded bags, Kitenge bags, Kitenge materials, jewellery), briquettes, pineapple and hibiscus wine and Irish potatoes. The women made about 2 million Uganda shillings in sales. The value in knowledge and connections made however, outweigh the monetary gain.