Clare Kabakyenga spent five years in the civil service, working as the Mbarara District Secretary for Social Services. She contributed to policy formulation and monitored the implementation of government programmes to conserve the environment and improve children’s welfare.
Back then in the ’90s, although she had used some of her savings to purchase and register the 20 acre Ifapio Farm Ltd. It never crossed her mind that one day she would trade the comfort of her office for the open fields. In 2005, however, the need to ensure food security for her family, increase her income and become her own boss forced her to resign from her government job and venture into agribusiness. Located in Rukuuba Village, Isingiro District, about 400 kilometres South of Uganda’s capital Kampala, Ifapio Farm has more than doubled in size since then. Ms. Kabakyenga started out as an Irish potato farmer. Today, she grow and exports Irish potates, maize and beans within the East African Community and to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ms. Kabakyenga is also the Chairperson of Manyakabi Area Cooperative Enterprise, a cooperative union, comprised of 8,105 rural farmers (89 percent of who are women), organized into 99 women groups, each of which is a registered primary cooperative society.
The farmers grow maize and beans on small farm holdings. The cooperative then bulks the produce for marketing. Read More