CoBAMS students showcase innovative projects to fight unemployment

Majority of the students flood the streets looking for jobs the moment they finish their studies at higher institutions of learning. However, the storyline might change after the introduction of hands on skills among the students currently undertaking their academic journey at Makerere University.

Innovators from the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) in the recently concluded Youth and Innovation Expo 2023 showcased their projects from which they expect to eke a living to reduce the pressure of looking for what to do after leaving campus.

Ibrahim Mutyaba, one of the innovators who ventured into the Black Soldier Fly premix business hopes his business will sustain him after completing his studies.

“When I am done with this bachelors, I don’t think I will be looking for employment out there because this is already there for me. It is like a start-up and it is going to continue because it is enlarging every day. A customer comes today and brings more customers tomorrow. It is a very good business to venture in and yet it requires little capital, even at shs20,000 one can start it,” he said.

The Black soldier fly premix is a supplement to animal feeds and poultry birds and it contains proteins which enable the animals and birds to grow very fast.

He explained that the only challenge he is facing is space since the   business is expanding and it needs more space to set up big structures for it.

Mutyaba said the initial stage of the project is getting eggs and the pallets. So the Queens lay the eggs in between the pallets which they collect and mix with decomposing materials.

“At the start of the project, I bought the eggs from Kawanda research centre and after that we never bought any eggs anymore, our life cycle kept on producing more eggs and production continued up to now,” he noted.

He added: “Every stage here is a business, someone will come looking for eggs and we will sell them in grams, and others may come and they want the larva stage or the pupa stage. You keep on earning money at any stage and the decomposed material after use is manure.”

Mutyaba further explains that the next step is sorting the maggots from the decomposing materials by sieving, which are then left to starve, put in a dryer or under the sun to dry until they get ready for packaging. He noted that the supplement can also be made into apowder form using grinders.

Mutyaba said that they have a structure at Kavumba village in Wakiso district where they base to supply the Black Soldier premix.

The innovator called upon farmers to come for training to learn how to make the black fly premix to save money.

Nkulikiyumukiza Jean D’amour, another innovator who deals in production of Meta coffee said he has flavored coffee and non-flavored coffee. “We have coffee that we mix with Mulondo, ginger and cinnamon and is packed in 20 and 70 grams to make affordable to everyone. The small tin goes for shs2000 and the big one is shs5,000.

He conceived the idea from the existing coffee locally made in Uganda. He realized the high quality coffee is exported abroad and it processed and brought back and sold at a very expensive price yet a few Ugandans can afford to purchase it. He came up to bridge that gap.

“The current challenge is finding market for the products due to competition with other people. “It is quite hard to move around convincing people to buy your new product because we are just penetrating into the market.” He added.

He deals with suppliers of coffee and those who dry flavors and add it in his coffee at a ratio of 1:10.

Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament while addressing the exhibition grand opening event on October 6, 2023 said parliament is going to institute the competition Bill, the Consumer Protection Bill, and the Copyright law to protect the students’ innovative ideas.

“We shall make sure that no one benefits from your innovations. Continue to be creative as you look forward to commercializing the products you have. As government we shall give you money,” he pledged.



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