Shares Uganda: Building East Africa’s economy Through Local Relationships

Shares Uganda: Building East Africa's economy Through Local Relationships

Founder of Shares Uganda, Marck van Esch, as his head in East Africa showing great interest in supporting local farmers as a way to succeed as an entrepreneur and to grow the economy at large.

Although the businessman hails from the Netherlands. But you sure can trace where his heart is, Africa. The company so far exports bird’s eye chilli, chia, and sesame among others to Europe.

Van Esch has been involved in organic farming since he graduated from the university in 1987.

“Around that time, I got in contact with a group of people who wanted to start organic cotton cultivation in Uganda with the help of Swedish donor money,” he says.

He initially started with cotton — working with Lango agribusiness as a partner who already has a chain of buyers.

“When you work with organic cotton, you also have to consider rotating crops as part of the organic farming system and that’s when we decided to include sesame in Uganda.

“However, to scale the cultivation of sesame and control its quality, it is necessary to establish a processing factory for cleaning the seeds with high purity. We then worked to put it into action and in 2002 a factory was commissioned that can process and clean any high purity seed or grain, up to 99.95%,” the Shares Uganda founder narrated.

Cleaning seeds with high purity was carried out via natural fumigation method in a factory — 20 km from Kampala.

Van Esch has now fully expanded into exportation of bird’s eye chilli, chia, and sesame to international markets due to strong competition in cotton.

Over the years, a good and strong relationship has been built with local farmers which gives them the opportunity to supply produce and make more money. The farmers also get trained by the company’s qualified field officials.

Definitely, a win-win for all parties 🙂

By Elijah Christopher

Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.
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