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Ugandan Named FAO Advisor On Cocoa

by Wangah Wanyama
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BY UMAR NSUBUGA

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has appointed Pamela Anyoti Peronaci, a Ugandan as its technical advisor for the development of climate resilient cocoa value chain in Uganda.

This is a significant step towards advancing, transforming and modernising the cocoa industry because Anyoti, a renowned agriprenuer has amassed milestones in cocoa production and export over the years.

For example, since 2006, she has been working with partners including JHB International Trade and Finance in Belgium and has collaborated with the Cocoa Research Center of the University of West Indies for DNA analysis of cocoa genotypes in Uganda.

In Uganda, Anyoti owns and runs Sunshine Agro Products Ltd and Asante Mama Natural Products that supports farmers to produce herbs and cocoa for export. Her companies have also been producing cocoa since 2013 and mobilized over 6,500 farmers to venture in the cocoa industry. Of those, at least 1,800 farmers planted.

Anyoti also invests significantly in training and providing seedlings to farmers.

Add to that the 320-acre farm she owns in Bunjako Island, Mpigi district with 80 acres dedicated to cocoa cultivation under agro forestry practices.

Meanwhile, FAO is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Its goal is to achieve food and security for all for people to have regular access to high-quality food and live healthy lives.

Peronaci’s new role at FAO involves leading Uganda’s cocoa industry. She will head cocoa production Initiatives throughout the country all while supporting farmers and exporters to improve standards in order to profit from this lucrative agribusiness.

She believes the cocoa industry can boost economic growth and job creation if focus is put on enhancing the value chain and in the long term, establish a cocoa processing factory in the country. But also, empowering farmers is vital. This can be done through protracted trainings to improve their skills, yields and livelihoods.

Anyoti also roots for compliance with International standards. She intends to align the industry with the European Union (EU) regulations on deforestation to ensure Ugandan cocoa is produced in an environmentally responsible manner, opening up more international market opportunities for farmers and exporters.

What her appointment means for Ugandans

During her tenure, Anyoti says, Ugandan farmers will have access to trainings, climate-resilient and sustainable farming practices plus increased market access because, compliance with international standards can enhance market access, particularly in the EU.

Relatedly, the improved practices and varieties will lead to higher yields hence increasing profitability.

What more, Anyoti will also ensure development of the cocoa value chain, from production to processing for farmers and exporters to enjoy better prices and market stability.

Who is Anyoti?

She was born and raised in Soroti district in eastern Uganda. Her parents had formal jobs but also practiced farming on the sides and that is how she was introduced to farming.

Years later, while pursuing her undergraduate studies in Europe, Anyoti felt the conviction to venture in agribusiness, particularly cocoa and herbs. She has since built a network of clients across the UK, Belgium, France and the US.

Anyoti has received accolades in recognition of her work in the sector. For example in 2020, she was nominated in the Uganda Diaspora Agribusiness Investor Awards in Kampala.

Evox TV in California also named her brand ‘A life changing Brand’. She has also featured in various publications such as Graca Machel Trust publication on Women creating wealth; a collection of stories of female entrepreneurs from across Africa.

Meanwhile, Anyoti holds a bachelor of arts in political science from Makerere University, a master in agricultural economics from the University of London. She also specialised in trade in agriculture from World Trade Institute in Bern, Switzerland.

Founding member and Vice Chairperson of the Uganda Diaspora Agribusiness Network (UDAN) and Board member of Sustainable Business for Uganda (SB4U).

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