Branston supporting food security in Uganda with training and investment

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

The college in Alito teaches farming skills to local people. Credit: Branston
The college in Alito teaches farming skills to local people. Credit: Branston

Related tags Food security

UK potato supplier Branston has donated £10k to an agricultural college in Alito, Uganda, as part of a new joint venture.

The college teaches farming skills to local people so that they are able to grow their own Irish potatoes, a variety that was not previously cultivated in the region.

Once the first crop is grown, each student is given 5kg of potatoes to take home following their graduation in the summer.

In addition to the funding, Branston will support the college with the digging of 2,000 cubic metre water lagoons for water irrigation, while it is also carrying out trials on a test site that could provide a teaching plot for students to learn about fertiliser, planting densities and potato varieties.

Interim project manager at Branston, Ian Arnold, visited Alito to oversee the land preparation and planting, where more than 100 staff and students participated. Most of the potatoes planted were Rwangume, a variety developed specifically to be grown in Africa, but the team is also assessing two more common European varieties, Arizona and Markies, to see how they fare in the Ugandan climate.

“This is a fantastic project and a great opportunity for us to give back to the local community at Alito and improve food security,”​ Arnold said.

“Having access to affordable and nutritious food is crucial throughout the world, so we’re delighted to be contributing to food security in Uganda.

“The college has mainly been training under 25s and their creativity has been brilliant, but the project is also focused on upskilling women in particular, and even provides a creche for those with young children to be able to access education while their children are cared for. We’ve committed to providing three years of training with the college, so we’re eager to continue to help support and educate the Alito community over the next few years.”

Arnold added that Branston hopes to offer more of its team the chance to visit Alito over the next few years.

“It’s a rewarding volunteering opportunity for people to learn more about how our work can help communities and is an investment both professionally and personally,”​ he concluded.

In other news, Kellanova has confirmed that its Kellogg’s cereal factory in Manchester will close towards the end of 2026.

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