In the bustling, lush heart of Lwengo District, where agriculture thrives and dreams sprout like the vibrant crops of Uganda, there’s a remarkable story of resilience, ambition, and success. Meet Nakabinga Rashad, a remarkable 22-year-old agripreneur champion from Ndagwe Subcounty. Her journey from a young girl working in tailoring to becoming the CEO of Makondo PELA is an inspiring tale of empowerment and dedication.
A Youth Agripreneur Champion:
Rashad’s remarkable journey began when she joined Gudie Leisure Farm’s incubation program as a Youth Agripreneur Producer. At just 22 years old, she’s already making a substantial income through her poultry and horticulture business, reaping an average monthly income of UGX 300,000 at a minimum. Rashad’s dedication and hard work have earned her recognition as the best Youth Agripreneur Champion (YAC) in 2021.
Before her venture into agriculture, Rashad was engaged in tailoring and fashion design, providing a much-needed source of income. It was her involvement in parish youth mobilization efforts that led her on the path of agripreneurship and incubation.
At just 22 years old, she’s already making a substantial income through her poultry and horticulture business
Incubation and Learning:
During her incubation at Gudie Leisure Farm, Rashad acquired valuable skills in various aspects of agriculture, including poultry farming, piggery, cuniculture, and aquaculture. These skills would serve as the foundation for her future success as an agripreneur.
Makondo PELA – A Success Story:
Upon completing her incubation, Rashad returned to Makondo Parish, where she founded Makondo PELA. This youth-led initiative began with 50 members but quickly grew to an impressive 152. Together, they mobilized and saved UGX 500,000 in just six months, allowing them to formally register as Makondo Integrated Sustainable Agriculture Youth Pela (MISAYP) and open a bank account.
Expansion and Recognition:
Makondo PELA’s growth has been nothing short of phenomenal. They have successfully recruited and trained youth across 10 out of 21 cottage industries with out-growers. A robust database of 1000 Youth Agripreneur Champions (YAC) now stands as a testament to their commitment to youth empowerment. Additionally, they have mobilized and trained 567 Youth Agripreneur Agriclub members across five agriclubs.
The YACs of Makondo PELA have gone on to develop both PELA projects and individual projects within the white meat value chain. Their dedicated efforts have not gone unnoticed; the PELA is well-recognized at the district level, and several of its members were selected to serve as Parish Development Model data collectors. Four YACs have received Parish Development Model (PDM) funds, and an additional four have secured loans from Equity Bank to further grow their businesses.
Rashad’s dreams reach even further. She aspires to own land by 2026, expanding her business and creating employment opportunities for other youth. Makondo PELA, on the other hand, has ambitious plans, aiming to ensure that all 21 cottage industries are fully functional by the end of 2025. Their vision includes acquiring transportation means for outreach work, enhancing value addition through investments in equipment, and improving packaging for high-end markets.
A Star on the Rise:
Rashad’s dedication to her community and agripreneurial spirit have set her on a path to greatness. Her passion for agriculture shines brightly, inspiring fellow youth in her community to follow in her footsteps.
The Mastercard Foundation Showcase:
Rashad’s remarkable journey was recently brought to the spotlight during the Mastercard Foundation partners showcase at Serena Hotel on October 23, 2023. Among all the incubated youths, Rashad was selected to represent her peers. At the showcase, she exhibited a live rabbit, along with products from her farm like maize flour and honey. Her booth attracted numerous visitors who were captivated by her story and the transformative impact of the program on her life.
Nakabinga Rashad’s journey is a testament to the power of youth empowerment and agriculture as a force for positive change. Her story exemplifies the potential that agriculture holds, not only as a source of income but as a platform for inspiring others to dream big and achieve greatness. Rashad’s shining star is a beacon of hope, illuminating the path to a brighter future for the youth of Ndagwe Subcounty and beyond.
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