EU, UNCDF announce shs48.8bn initiative to promote agribusiness in Uganda

EU, UNCDF announce shs48.8bn initiative to promote agribusiness in Uganda
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The European Union delegation in Uganda, in partnership with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), are proud to

announce the launch of a new initiative aimed at promoting sustainable agribusiness growth throughout Uganda.

The facility, known as Support to Agricultural Revitalization and Transformation (START) Phase II, represents an investment of EUR 11.5 million , approximately shs 48.9 billion co-financed by the European Union.

This initiative is geared towards catalysing economic development, job creation, and sustainable growth in the country.

Building upon the success of the first phase of  START , where over 50 SMEs received shs 13.5 billion in concessional loans and reimbursable grants, creating markets for over 120,000 farmers, START II is expanding its reach across Uganda.

The overarching objective of this phase is to tackle the significant obstacles faced by agribusiness SMEs in accessing financing for their expansion and growth.

START II will focus on promoting value addition and agro-processing by providing agribusiness SMEs with access to affordable medium-term financing.

This support aims to facilitate the expansion of their operations while prioritizing the adoption of green practices and inclusivity, particularly for vulnerable groups and women-led enterprises and   is committed to allocating 30% of its resources towards promoting gender equality

and supporting green SMEs.

Sophie De Coninck, Head of Uganda Office at UNCDF said, "The launch of the START Facility is a crucial step towards unlocking the potential of agribusiness SMEs in Uganda. By addressing the financing gap and enhancing technical capabilities, we aim to

drive sustainable growth, create jobs, and foster economic resilience in the country and beyond."

The European Union Ambassador to Uganda Jan Sadek  welcomed the initiative

"Cultivating sustainable growth and prosperity in Uganda remains a top priority for the European Union. Through our continued

collaboration with the United Nations Capital Development Fund, we are committed to empowering agribusiness SMEs and fostering an environment conducive to economic resilience and job creation. The launch of START Phase II underscores our dedication to

supporting inclusive and green economic transformation, ultimately contributing to the long- term prosperity of Uganda and its people," Sadek said.

To ensure effective implementation and maximize impact, START II will collaborate with various stakeholders, including financial institutions, private sector foundations, government bodies, and international organizations.

Key partners involved in the implementation of the START facility include the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises (FSME), Aceli Africa, and the Uganda Development Bank Limited (UDB).

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