Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fish sausages from Africa

Lovin Kobusingya, an entrepreneur and founder of Kati farm supplies in Uganda is no longer fishing for ideas. When Kobusingya started toying with the idea of producing fish sausages, most people around her did not think the concept would get off the ground.
“I have been selling fish on the side to earn extra money and kept thinking about sustainability and how we could push higher volumes of fish to the market by diversifying our offerings, at the right price,” she recalls.
Armed with very limited knowledge gleaned from Google searches, Kobusingya sought technical assistance from the Uganda Industry Research Institute to help develop a formula for the fish sausages. With $800 she produced her stock run, which was sold to friends and small vendors before she had gained the confidence to approach hotels and supermarkets in and around Uganda.
“While we faced a number of start–up challenges, I am fortunate that funding was not one of them,” she commented.
Lovin’s husband kick–started her business with USh 10 million in capital and she does not look back – two years later, she has more than doubled her initial investment with an annual turnover now hovering around USh 50 million. Kobusingya has also managed to increase production from 100 kg of fish sausages a day to the current distribution figures of eight tons per week. She works with 500 fish farmers in her country and the majority of them are women.
Future plans for Lovin is to buy land and equipment to upscale operations into neighbouring African countries. 
This article was written by Marianna du Plessis, Manager: Stakeholder Relations, Africa and International. Contact her at +27 82 337 6127 or send an email to africa@agrimega.co.za.



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