Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Team Uganda: Soy farming in Kampala

Things are going very well here. We just wanted to report a bit on our recent activities. Since we returned to Kampala on Monday, we have had meetings with several Ministry offices, the telecom giants, commercial banking institutions, technology thinktanks, agricultural Phd's, buyers, sellers and NGOs. We have had excellent food, great drivers and incredible insight into the problem at hand.

The interviews have helped us identify the challenges that the soy farmers face in producing and profiting from their crops. We have also gained insight into the potential solutions that will improve their chances of success. The Mobile Money team has had several innovative ideas that will also help CRS improve its effectiveness and response times in its regular and emergency response programs. The CRS staff has been fantastically helpful in coordinating a wide variety of interviews across all levels of the value chain. We really appreciate all of their help.

We have also enjoyed top notch accommodations at the Adonai guesthouse. We are in a quiet, residential neighborhood, and receive two hot meals each day from a very friendly staff. We have met many world travelers at the house, and have enjoyed our time there. It has become a "home base" of sorts for us to discuss our ideas, relax, and enjoy Uganda's natural beauty. It is clear from our discussions that everyone is gaining a much greater understanding of the complexity of business and how the principles we have studied can be used to facilitate change.

Everybody here is safe. We have had a few uneasy stomachs, but no other problems. The food has been excellent. We even had Ethiopian food at a great local restaurant. We have really enjoyed our trip so far.

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