Featured Profile of the Week
Founder and Managing Director, Farm Inputs Care Centre (FICC) Ltd.
What most impressed the professional colleagues who nominated this role model?
Chris Kaijuka founded a highly successful seed company in Uganda and he has been running it for over 35 years. Initially, he called his company Afrokai, which means “Africa can do it.” This motto summarizes his can-do spirit and his entrepreneurial drive. Despite many economic hardships during the early years, his company was among the very few that survived. To date, the company has expanded into many parts of Uganda and has even opened branches in Tanzania. His company has contributed to agricultural sector growth in East Africa by supplying high quality seed that have resulted in improved yields of the smallholder farmers. He has shown, by his example, that Africa can do it.
What motivated you to pursue a career in agriculture?
- I grew up in a peasant family whose occupation was farming. Therefore I grew up participating fully in farm activities except the time when I was at school. The family was big, so I knew it was through hard work on the farm that would earn us a living.
- The money for my school fees came from the sale of the farm produce. However, getting good seed was a very big challenge. I always imagined that if my family had access to improved seed, the returns would be much higher. This motivated me to also make a personal contribution to the farming sector in this area.
How can agricultural education institutions more effectively prepare African students for successful agribusiness careers?
- There is need to equip students with more practical skills than theory.
- Agricultural training institutions need partners in the private sector.
- Training institutions should offer certificate courses at different levels, not only degrees.
- There is need to develop a data base of agribusinesses in Uganda, then develop training programs for them. These agribusinesses would also be used for placement of students for their field attachments.
- Develop value chain training modules. This could be done at regional or district level with training modules developed and overseen by Makerere University.
- Offer specialized training to farmers and potential farmers.
- Interest the youths in agriculture to bring them back to the farm.
- Founder and Managing Director, Farm Inputs Care Centre (FICC) Ltd.
- Founder, Afrokai “Africa can do it.” Seed Company, 1978.
- Stores Manager, East African Railway, Arusha, Tanzania.
- Primary school:
- Secondary school:
- Kolo Secondary School.