Kati Farms, a fish processing company, emerged from Lovin’s pursuit of fish marketing options while she worked for one of Uganda’s fish farmer cooperatives. When her fish sausage idea proved to be a winner, Lovin invested her savings in Research & Development and left employment. Seven years later, Kati Farms partners with over 1,000 women fish farmers, produces 17 unique fish-based products, exports to 13 African countries and employs a full time staff of 38. Kati Farms is currently negotiating a contract to supply 300,000 metric tonnes of fish products a year to an overseas buyer.
What you’ll hear in this episode:
- Kati Farms mission to develop and deliver a variety of nutritious fish-based products to the market.
- Starting with $800 in savings and lots of good will from the fish farmers she used to work for.
- 1st & only woman owner of a fish processing plant in Uganda, 1st fish sausage manufacturer in Africa.
- Fish-based product lines – sausages, fillets, burgers and nutritious powders (17 product lines).
- Plant capacity – ten tonnes of fish-based products a day.
- Training programs / institutions that have contributed to her success:
- African Women Entrepreneur Program (AWEP) – Recognizing her potential, exposure that fueled her dreams and the value of focus.
- International Trade Centre (ITC) – The value of bargaining power.
- Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) – Research & Development, Incubation.
- Value of partnerships
- Katende, Sempebwa & Co. Advocates – pro-bono legal counsel.
- National Agricultural Research Organization – product development, cost sharing, access to grants.
- Two investors – South Africa and the United Kingdom.
- Challenge: Juggling motherhood and running a business.
- Volunteer work: Chair, Uganda Women Fish Trader and Processors Association; Founder, Uganda Women Fish Network.
- Her dream for Kati Farms: a Kati Farms product on every dining table in the world.
- Lesson learned: The ground is level. We are all capable of competing globally. Don’t be afraid to take that step forward.
African Women Entrepreneur Program (AWEP): https://www.state.gov/p/af/rt/awep/
International Trade Centre: http://www.intracen.org/itc/projects/pactii/access/
National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO): https://www.naro.go.ug/
Kati Farms Ltd.