RUFORUM Alumni: Entrepreneurial Agricultural Graduate Linking to Smallholder farmers
In January 2015, Titus Kisauzi graduated with a Master’s degree in Agricultural Extension Education (MSc. AEE) from Makerere University. His MSc training was funded through a RUFORUM Graduate Research Grant under the Project “Understanding the Gender dimensions of the impact of climate change on agriculture and adaptation among small holder farmers in Uganda.” Towards completion of the training program, he had been contracted as a National Agricultural Advisory Service (NAADS) Coordinator for Busukuma Sub-County in Uganda.
However, the contract was short-lived due to the government extension reforms in 2014 that led to the creation of the single-spine structure of extension services, hence the removal of all NAADS coordinators. This setback however presented an opportunity for exploring Entrepreneurial Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services to complement public extension.
In March 2014, Titus set up and registered AgroBasics (U) Ltd as a result of the need for innovative ways to solving the multifaceted challenges of farming communities that often limit the viability and commercialization of small-scale agriculture. Entrepreneurial extension services have become important due to low funding for extension, high unemployment of graduates and the inherent challenges of public service delivery related to poor accountability and slow response. In addition, the increasing commercialization of agriculture demands more services yet public extension has limited reach, and scope with regard to services such as input supply, market support and processing.