PHOTO: Tycoons Ham and Akon during Eid prayers on this week
SENEGALESE American Singer Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam, known mononymously as Akon, this week returned to Uganda for a special visit to Kampala’s richest businessman Hamis Kiggundu of Ham Enterprises (U) limited.
They attended Eid El-fitir prayers together and later, tycoon Hamis Kiggundu hosted Money magnet Akon at the State-of-art – Ham Agro Industries Headquarters.
The 38 years property mogul Hamis Kiggundu revealed to his guest why he has chosen to venture into Agricuture saying it is the only path to fight and end poverty in Uganda.
Recently Ham told journalists that he invested UGX 2B in this research and divided Uganda into 10 Aggro zones.
“I carried out soil tests in different areas. I went to Western Uganda and saw that it has livestock, in Central we can get fisheries, fruits, horticulture, we have Maize and coffee. But before setting up structures, systems and policies, that can fully accommodate Agriculture for instance, Ham Agro Industries, there are many things I must first work on.” Mr. Kiggundu told journalists.
To his guest Akon, billionaire Hamis Kiggundu said that he is going to make a lab so that he can produce quality seeds and also, open up Ham Agro Bank in partnership with farmers.
Hamis Kiggundu believes that to promote agriculture in the country, Farmers have to control right from fertilizers they use, the pesticides and, “We have to train them in the best Agriculture practices because right now, many of their crops and produce can’t meet the market standards so they end up living the liability.”
About his plan to build storage facilities, Hamis Kiggundu told Akon that in Uganda there has been a problem of storage facilities.
“You find someone has 10 acres of maize but sleeps in a small house. At the time of harvesting, when he leaves maize in garden, it will get spoiled. When he harvests it, he has no where to keep it at home to dry it. Majority farmers have that problem of storage, So I want to set up big storage facilities.” Kiggundu told his guest.
He took him around Ham integrated processing plant and headquarters which is no different from white house.
“What I am building”, Ham told Akon, “Will have capacity to engage big international markets like in Qatar, Middle East, Europe or Turkey that we can sign with them treaties with the help of government, say we can supply them maize worth UGX 2B. Ham is is planning to work together with the farmers by financially empowering them.This he plans to do through Ham Agro bank.He hopes to give farmers a helping hand by not only buying produce from them but also working together all the way from planting to harvesting.
Kiggundu wants to start right from the soil, yes it will require sometime but he says, if they give it a robust approach, within a period of two-three years, they will be able to have gone to parameters of quality controls.
He asked why plant more maize which can’t meet international standards?”
He says, other able Ugandans like will join him in this industry and do things like this and later, government will join.
He told Akon that Agriculture has capacity to employ all Ugandans if handled well, being that it is the backbone of our country.
“There is more money in Agriculture than in Oil. Uganda has capacity to feed 500 million people. Our soil is fertile, we have rainfall and we have youth who have capacity to do the work.” Noted tycoon Hamis Kiggundu.
While addessing media recently, Kiggundu said, “We have to use factors of demand and supply to see that, through a liberal economy we entice these youth to move back into agriculture. That should be determined by actual incomes not just taking them to gardens. One hears that all maize in Kiboga is on demand. Then he will sell away his bodaboda, goes back to the village to plant maize.”
This according to him, will kill urbanization. “Why is it that all people are running from villages to the cities can’t we move productivity back to our villages like it was before?”
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