Growing up, I wasn’t really sure of the hardships that entailed starting a business, but when I first ventured into the world of entrepreneurship through agricultural produce, I quickly learnt just how rough it is in Uganda. It’s not just about the long hours you sacrifice or the amount of money you have to spend – it’s the emotional toll that hits the hardest. Sometimes you ask yourself, is all this really worth it? Wouldn’t it be easier to just quit now? But I guess it’s important to always have an end goal in mind and keep that as motivation.
Starting up a business is a bit like having a baby. I have had to dedicate all my time and attention into the nurturing and growth of my crops that most times I don’t even realise the amount of sleepless nights I’ve endured. I’m very particular and I like to monitor every aspect of my farm from the ground up; this often fills me with anxiety mixed with constantly calculating and allocating funds.
While it has been one of the most challenging tasks I’ve ever set myself – especially in a country where the weather can let you down or the obvious economic fluctuation and unpredictable government policies – I’ve learnt to be consistent.
I’ve learnt that in this business; genuine hard work, determination to reach your goal and absolute clarity about the reason why you’re doing it, helps you to stay on track. I have this vision of being able to uplift others, especially in my region in Lira, Northern Uganda. I want to get to a position where I can support other people’s agricultural projects. I want to be able to train and employ youth especially and have the opportunity to share my methodologies in agriculture and be able to pay it forward. I honestly thank God for the opportunities I’ve received over the past year since beginning this venture and I pray he blesses the work of my hands for the future.
Nerius Okot; farm owner specialising in the growth and trade of maize and sorghum.