On 4th November 2016, the National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE) in partnership with ResilientAfrica Network (RAN), Centenary Bank, Consortium for enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development Limited (CURAD), AVSI Foundation, GoBig Hub Uganda Coffee Development Authority, organized the 2nd Uganda National Coffee Festival 2016 held at Namboole Sports Stadium. This brought together about 5000 participants and 36 Exhibitors to showcase and exhibit their products, projects and innovations. Youth elevator pitching competitions by those working on coffee specific innovations also characterized this festival. These included the following;
1.) Dennis Muwanguzi working on Limma innovation-An online website bringing all coffee stakeholders together to support the farmers.
2.) Collins Osomini working on Coffee Cake-A new type of flavored cake with a coffee aroma and ingredient.
3.) Josephine Nanteza working on Coffee Scrub -A facial unique scrub purely made out of coffee to smoothen the skin
4.) Dennis Agaba working on Coffee Online & Bike Vending Business -A new unique coffee vending business to encourage domestic coffee consumption.
5.) Joshua Rukundo working on Access to Finance-A new agribusiness financing model to empower farmers’ access finance.
6.) Nyakasura School Students working on Coffee Yogurt-A new brand of yoghurt, a mixture of all required production ingredients and coffee. This is specifically and only produced by the students from this school.
7.) Mugarura Charles working on Permaculture-A new style of planting to increase production and productivity.
It was exciting to note that at least one of these innovations was related to: ICT Idea, smart Climate Change ideas and value chain advancement Ideas that contribute towards building a resilient and sustainable coffee sub sector. Up on selection, the best 5 innovations were assured to benefit from the following support: Support in form of incubation support to help further refine their ideas through agribusiness and innovations development partners including ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and the Consortium for enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development Limited (CURAD) among others. These would engage the winning teams and participants in skilling and capacity building initiatives such as understanding the coffee value chain, entrepreneurship, training to effectively conduct need finding, and design thinking sessions. Winning teams would also be listed on the RAN, CURAD & NUCAFE websites, and promoted through the respective outreach and scaling efforts so as to mobilize additional support.
On Friday 11th November 2016-a week later, Nucafe organized an awards ceremony for the best 5 innovations. This begun at around 9:00am with opening remarks from Mr. Joseph Nkandu the Executive Director NUCAFE who shared some of the criteria employed by the judges to evaluate the competitors and guide the selection process. For example, uniqueness and feasibility of the idea, clarity of revenue streams/how they will make money, potential impact of the idea, presentation/pitching style, potential to contribute to building a sustainable resilient coffee sub sector, how they will work with potential partners and stakeholders so as to effect systems change transformation.
One representative of the judges from RAN, Dr. Julius Ssentongo, RAN Eastern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab Program Coordinator gave a brief overview about RAN, pledged the continued partnership between RAN, NUCAFE and other development partners in discovering and incubating innovations for growth, assured the innovators of the free and ambient incubation lab space at the RAN office premises and encouraged all of them to participate in the capacity building events and sessions like the Human Centered Design Thinking training. Dr. Ssentongo also encouraged innovators to apply for the different innovation grant challenges publicized by RAN to solicit additional support for their innovations. It was a rich opportunity to interact with other partners including; Centenary Bank, CURAD, GoBig Hub among others.
The awards ceremony followed thereafter and the best 5 innovations (in order of ) including the following were recognized;
Nyakasura School students emerging as the overall best and awarded 1,000,000. The 2nd runner up was Dennis Agaba who received Ugx 500,000. Dennis Muwanguzi, Josephine Nanteza and Collins Osomini were awarded certificates.
The ceremony was concluded with taking a group photo and coffee drink at Omukago Café.