AGRA launches Deal Room initiative to spearhead investments in Uganda’s agribusiness sector

UGANDA – Alliance of a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has launched an agribusiness initiative dubbed Deal Room, seeking to facilitate ease in financing access, mentorship and market entry solutions by Entrepreneurs.

It also seeks to create opportunities for government to present investment opportunities, promote incentives and engage with interested investors to discuss bottlenecks, reports Daily Monitor.

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Dr John Jagwe, the Agra country manager, said the Deal Room, will allow Ugandans to pitch investment ideas with the aim of attracting investments.

Dr Jagwe also said, Agra is working with other agencies led by Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and private sector agencies to identify and prepare those that need financing.

The Deal Room is part of an annual Africa Green Revolution Forum that will take place in September this year. However, due to Covid-19, this year’s forum that will be hosted by the government of Rwanda will be a virtual event.

The participating agencies will include UIA, Uganda Development Corporation, Private Sector Foundation Uganda, Uganda Manufacture’s Association, and line ministries such as Ministry of Agriculture.

According to experts in agriculture, there are many producer organisations looking for investors and the same to investors but there has not been a platform for such organisations to meet in one room with investors to present their requests for funding.

Mr Hans Muzoora, the country manager of the Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA), said this is due to lack of proper investments models among SMEs that attract investors.

“Investors are very few, but also lack the appetite due to perceptions that agriculture is risky, so we are working with agri businesses, to come up with investment ready business models that can attract investors,” Mr Muzoora said.

Some of the credentials that will be looked at for consideration for investment include, number of small holder farmers one is working with, level of investment, expected incomes, expected output, proper records, sustainability plan which most SMEs lack.

“Once business models are ready, these will then be presented to investors in deal room for their consideration. To us this platform is great, we will be able to get to know investors out there, get to understand what they want to see also introduce to them our agribusinesses looking for finance and related support,” he added.

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