Sunflower: Sector associations in sync with SITA

Sunflower is a key sector for the Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa (SITA) project in Uganda and Tanzania. In line with the strategy for the development of sunflower sector, the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) SITA project has been working to strengthen East African sunflower sector associations, and to support the transfer of technology and investment from India. To this end, SITA has been collaborating with the Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) of India, organizing exposure visits, workshops and business to business (B2B) meetings, both in India and East Africa.

Recently, SITA supported the participation of the Uganda Oil Seed Producers and Processors Association (UOSPA) and the Tanzania Sunflower Oil Processor Association (TASUPA) in the SEA- of India annual general meeting and a subsequent study tour in India, with the aim of fostering collaboration between the institutions, as well as enabling the East African institutions and businesses to learn and replicate best practices from India. On the sidelines of the event, the SITA team caught up with the UOSPA and TASUPA leaders to know more about their experience with SITA so far.

SITA in conversation with UOSPA picture2

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Agang Ray Bruno is the Executive Director of UOSPA, representing the interests of the oilseed producers and processors in Uganda

SITA: Tell me about the involvement of UOSPA with SITA.

Agong Ray Bruno: When SITA was established, UOSPA was one of the institutions involved in the baseline conversation as well as in the project design. Following the selection of sunflower as a project sector in Uganda, and after a due diligence exercise and assessment of our organisation, UOSPA was confirmed as a delivery partner for SITA. We have contributed to the development of the strategic plan for the sector, and have participated in the annual partnership platform event in April 2016. This culminated in the workshop with SEA of India and TASUPA. We activated our partnership through technology transfer and business visits from India to East Africa.

SITA: What do you think will be the biggest impact of this partnership with SITA, for your organisation?

Bruno: This has been a great opportunity for us to learn and improve our operations. We have already benefited from training on standards and institutional management, including at the regional workshop in Zanzibar. We are also building high level linkages between Uganda and India – with institutions, manufacturers and businesses. With more expertise and better connections we can improve our credibility with our members and stakeholders, and deliver more value to the sector and the Ugandan economy.

SITA: Your vision for UOSPA, its size, role and reputation…

Bruno: To grow UOSPA’s membership base and improve the sustainability of its business model, including via more diversified revenue streams and improved value for members and partners. We strive to build on our reputation as a highly informed and credible advocate of the sector, and be seen as influential and effective by all stakeholders.

SITA: Why was this visit to India important for you?

Bruno: We have personally seen the technology and equipment that can make a difference to UOSPA members. India can offer equipment at the scale, quality and price that Uganda needs. Our organisation will support the transfer of this technology for the benefit of our members. We’ve also built the relationships that will help us achieve our vision. And seeing the way SEA of India operates was inspiring! We return to Uganda full of plans and ideas that would be implemented by UOSPA.

SITA: If you could wave a magic wand and fix just one thing about the sunflower sector in Uganda, what would it be?

Bruno: I will have to pick two things, but they are related. Uganda needs to produce more volume, both in terms of raw material and edible oils through promotion of efficient land opening technology,   better seed quality with higher oil content and more efficient oil extractors.  UOSPA is going to help make it happen!

SITA in conversation with TASUPA

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Ringo Iringo is the Chairman of TASUPA, supporting the Tanzanian sunflower sector

SITA: Tell me about the involvement of TASUPA with SITA.

Ringo Iringo:  I was involved in the consultation and design process that led to the project establishment, as well as in the development of the sector strategy and roadmap. I was also present at the partnership meeting in Kampala in April, including the workshop to support institutional partnerships with India. This led to the involvement of TASUPA in the technology and B2B visits from India to Tanzania in July. And we have also benefited from training, with my vice-president attending the workshop in Zanzibar, and with this study tour for me and my new manager, Daudi.

SITA: What do you think will be the biggest impact of this partnership with SITA, for your organisation?

Ringo: SITA has provided us with a platform for new levels of engagement with partners like AMDT (Agricultural Markets Development Trust), FAO (Food and Agricultural Organisation) UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation) and TanTrade (Tanzania Trade Development Authority), amongst others, as well as other government and non-government organisations in Tanzania and elsewhere. TASUPA is still very small and we greatly value the additional resources and scale that come with these partnerships for growth. SITA’s selection of the sunflower sector has provided a strategic direction to this sector in Tanzania, with the government supporting it more. Furthermore, TASUPA’s role as a delivery partner has helped us build credibility. We are also benefiting from the engagement with other delivery partners, in particular SEA of India and UOSPA.

SITA: Your vision for TASUPA, its size, role and reputation…

Ringo: The importance of sunflower sector to the Tanzanian economy is to be recognised, including as a part of strategy to address climate change, with a focus on replacing imports while increasing exports, both regionally and beyond. I see TASUPA as the co-ordinator and influencer of change, demonstrating leadership, innovation, and powerful decision-making.

SITA: Why was this visit to India important for you?

Ringo: Seeing is believing. We have seen the impact of improved technology on oil extraction and refining. We have also met potential Indian importers, and connected with experts and sources of valuable information. TASUPA must be a connector for our sector both within Tanzania and beyond. This visit has helped us to take a step towards achieving that goal.

We have also benefited from seeing good institutional practice through our SITA-based relationship with SEA of India. We were impressed with the operation of their annual general meeting, including organisation of the exhibition space, and have learnt more about service delivery, information dissemination, and sponsorships. We will be putting some of these ideas into action in TASUPA in order to deliver more value to our members.

SITA: If you could wave a magic wand and fix just one thing about the sunflower sector in Tanzania, what would it be?

Ringo: We need to create scale and improve profitability through more co-operation, vertical integration and value addition. TASUPA is facilitating a series of clusters as a first step towards this outcome.

An impression of the study tour in India

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“Seeing is believing”: The East African delegation learning from a manufacturer in India

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Dr. Mehta of SEA of India shares their articles of association with the delegation
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