The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has partnered with Agribusiness enterprises in order to support the development and promotion of Agro-Tourism across 18 regions and 51 districts in the country. The UTB together embarked on familiarization trip to the western region districts of; Mbarara, Insingiro and Bushenyi in order to pay a visit to the Agribusiness incubation farms such as; Gudie Incubation Farm Limited, Bushenyi Demonstration Farms and Excel Hort Consult. This partnership will make the board focus on the development of Agro-Tourism products and services, to create awareness, support and facilitate agribusiness and Tourism stake holders in order to boost the tourism sector.
Due to Covid-19, the board has opted to tap into opportunities availed by other sectors such as: Agriculture, Health, Manufucturing, and many more to boost tourism.
Uganda Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer – Lilly Ajarova applauded the opportunity presented by merging Agriculture and Tourism, she sees this as a great step towards exploring great and possible opportunities for developing Agro-tourism in the country and increase involvement in tourism to increase income even when the sector is on a low and in this way fast track the achievement of Middle-income status as per Vision 2040 and be able to diversify the tourism product offering in the country.
Excel Hort Consult Agribusiness Incubator Limited – Director-General Alex Abiho, who also serves as the CEO of African Incubation Centre that supports the development of Small and Medium Enterprises in East and Central Africa working closely with different partners lauded Uganda Tourism Board for the background visit and pledged to liaise with the Tourism board to support Agribusiness SME’s across 18 regions and 51 districts in Uganda.
He said, “We have also committed to working with partners such as; Uganda Tourism Board, Gofan Safaris, Travel Neza, Agro-Tourism Association among others towards the development of Agriculture and Tourism in the Country.” and also added that in the next 5 years, EHCAI looks further to incubate about 27,000 start ups that are willing to join the sector through youth training and women in collaboration with the Uganda Tourism Board for support.
He further appreciated new relations with UTB towards fulfilling the African Union Agenda 2023 aimed at developing Agriculture and Tourism and revealed that EHCAI is looking towards improving on Research as through this;the Private Sector will liaise with Universities for forums on Agribusiness Development and Research.
He concluded that through partnerships with the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), Agriculture Farm Service Centre for the Western region and National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) that mobilise farmers groups and Associations need to use technology before preparing farmers and also collaboration with the Microfinance Support Centre, that will be good for financing to farmers and to also make Uganda produce profitable crisps.
The Research Professor at Makerere University, John Mujuni, also noted that they have been working together to make Agriculture attractive, He revealed that ‘’Tourism has for long-time been confined to Wild animals, National parks, etc and therefore with the diversification of Agro-Tourism, this will be the only way to go so as to develop the Agricultural sector.