By Michael Kanaabi Dollar
The Gattako Omutindo training program aimed at empowering Agro-based SMEs across the country was successfully concluded recently by the Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises (FSME) in partnership with Post Bank who sank in over Shs. 80 million to ensure the project is a success.
Speaking at the closing event of the training, Investment and Privatisation State Minister Hon. Evelyne Anite commended Post Bank Uganda and FSME for this program emphasizing that it will play a big role in the future of our economy which is built around small and medium enterprises.
Hon. Anite noted that government has put in place the right economic environment for SMEs and Agricultural projects to thrive adding that the newly trained SME owners should apply their new knowledge and skills to grow their businesses and the economy at large.
The training covered businesses in Lira, Mbarara, Arua and Kampala with emphasis put on financial literacy and value addition.
Post Bank CEO Julius Kakeeto speaking at the closing ceremony which took place at the Uganda Industrial Research Institute in Nakawa noted that the Gattako Omutindo initiative is in line with the Government’s National Development Plan III.
“ Value addition in the agricultural sector is a key part of the NDP III and it’s for this reason we chose to empower Agro based SMEs with financial literacy and value addition techniques” he said.
This initiative is part of bank’s drive to reach out to more business customers who are recovering from a rough patch that began in lockdowns with business slowing down as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Post Bank in partnership with government is already offering Covid 19 recovery loans to businesses at subsidized interest rates below going market rates.
However Kakeeto notes that the bank has also been able to grow it’s balance sheet to about a trillion shillings with deposits also doubling over the past 3 years in spite of the tough economic conditions. This has put the bank in a strong position to serve it’s customers needs better.
John Walugembe the FSME Executive Director noted that the training had over 125 participants in various sectors including honey processing, diary production, maize milling and value addition to fruits plus vegetables. It is part of our contribution to the growth of the agricultural sector and SMEs at large and we look forward to expanding this initiative with our partners Post Bank.
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