Thomas Ssemakula is a graduate in Animal Production Technology and Management from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity. As well, he is an entrepreneur and a founding member of BRAVE East Africa, an agribusiness firm.
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Who is Thomas Ssemakula?
I am a Christ-centered, natural-born entrepreneur and a leader in my own right who passionately lives his life as an agent of positive change in society by relentlessly pursuing my life’s legacy through the use of my technical skills and knowledge in agribusiness to empower East African farmers to create profitable and sustainable agricultural businesses.
Are you married?
No I am not married.
What is your education background?
In January 2011, I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Production Technology and Management from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity(COVAB), Makerere University, Kampala.
Why the name ”BRAVE’?
‘BRAVE’ is an acronym for Business Rapport for Agricultural and Veterinary Enterprises.
I came up with this name as I walked back home two years ago when I was thinking of a name that would create the impression of farming as a business to all our target customers(farmers). I added East Africa to emphasize my vision as the founder of the company; which is to build a multi-national agribusiness company that empowers East African farmers.
What other Agricultural solutions have you developed to save the Ugandans?
Besides starting out the company as an agribusiness consultancy, I have started two other companies, namely Brave Planet Ltd, which provides land, training, management, high value markets, and financing to youth at a gazetted agribusiness incubation center in Mattuga, where we are solving youth unemployment by giving the youth a chance to access these services, build capital, and earn monthly income over an incubation period of 1-2 years.
In partnership with an I.T company called Hereza solutions, I have also started creating an agricultural market infrastructure business called Farm Yard Network, which enables farmers to access high value markets for their products through the use of information technology. To this effect, we have launched an online farmers’ social network site called Farm Yard Network, where farmers and buyers of agricultural produce can transact business and access information on the best management practices for agricultural enterprises. In a few months, we plan to partner with Airtel Uganda to add the component of mobile phone SMS information about buyers of agricultural products, the prices they buy at and the quantity they buy.
I have organized 2500 farmers into 3 associations and am negotiating with Post Bank Uganda to advance financing to them through Brave East Africa to increase their production, add value to what they produce, and find a premium market for their products.
Uganda is Celebrating 50 years of independence come 9th October 2012. What do you propose the government should focus on for the next fifty years in order to propel Uganda to higher heights of development?
Within the agricultural sector, the government should focus on increasing sustainable production, value addition, agricultural financing through grass roots organizations rather than urban oriented banks, and creating agricultural market infrastructure that can provide premium prices for farmers’ products. In a word, they should integrated all the key areas of the agricultural value chain and to do this they need to partner with grass roots organizations like Brave East Africa which can reach out to even the remotest farmers across the country.
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