Potential Benefits of the EAPI Agro-processing Skills Training Course on Micro, Small, and Medium Scale (MSMEs) Agro-processors in Uganda

Julia Kigozi, Emmanuel Baidhe, Isaac Oluk, Ivan Mukisa, Charles Muyanja, Leatitiah Namubiru, Brenda Katarikawe

Abstract


Micro, Small, and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Uganda contribute significantly to socio-economic growth and development. Several training programs have been organized to upgrade the skills and competencies of personnel in these agro-processing enterprises but these often lack a wholistic approach. An Empowerment of the Agro-Processing Industry (EAPI) training was organised to include eight modules covering the key concepts necessary for an agro-processor. These included; food process and value-chain management, product optimization, national and international food standards, Good Management Practices (GMP) and hygienic food processing, quality control, waste management, infrastructure development for food production and food product marketing. This study assessed the potential benefits of the EAPI training on 40 agro-processors from 40 selected agro-processing facilities. Upon completion of a three-day skills development training, MSME practitioners were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Descriptive, scale, and thematic analysis were used in the study. The questionnaire used was reliable (Cronbach’s coefficient alpha for relevancy = 0.873). Agro-processors found all modules relevant with an average score ranging between 8.7 and 9.5 on a scale of 10. Increase in knowledge, and interaction between stakeholders were the most outstanding potential benefits of the training. Respondents anticipated improving their operations after the training. Provision of handouts, increasing the number of days for the training, and simplifying the language of delivery were some of the suggested improvements. The study suggests that trainings of this nature could improve operations at different agro-processing facilities.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jfi.v4i1.17917

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