Amatheon Agri Uganda today hosted the inauguration of the Impact Building Solutions Foundation (IBSF) Factory, a social enterprise which focuses on the local production of eco-friendly alternatives in construction by using rice straw sourced from Amatheon’s farm and the surrounding area. The factory was officially opened by the State Minister for Northern Uganda, Honorable Grace Kwiyucwiny. The ceremony was attended by the representative for the Minister of Water and Environment, Members of Parliament, district authorities, local leaders and representatives of international organisations, such as the President of Malteser International Europe. Moreover, the German Ambassador to Uganda as well as the Ugandan Ambassador to Rome attended the inauguration and the guests praised this innovative use of an agricultural by-product and the benefits it will bring to Northern Uganda.
In her keynote speech, Hon. Kwiyucwiny highlighted the importance of responsible private investments in Uganda, and encouraged other ventures to follow IBSF’s and Amatheon’s commitment to address global challenges jointly.
With more than 1,000 hectares cultivated, rice is an integral part of Amatheon’s cropping portfolio. Maximizing the usage of rice straw as a by-product in a sustainable way, while at the same time creating perspectives for local communities, laid the foundation of Amatheon’s partnership with the IBS Foundation.
Founder and CEO of Amatheon Agri, Mr. Carl Heinrich Bruhn, praises the multifaceted opportunities and benefits that are created through the establishment of this new factory.
“We are delighted to see that Amatheon’s significant investments over the past six years have attracted other investors, strengthening both our farming operations as well as the communities surrounding our farm,” said Bruhn. “This new synergy between the agribusiness and construction industries showcase the high potential of bringing together actors of various industries to foster innovation and cooperation in the country.”
In Uganda, an increasing number of smallholders cultivate rice as a staple crop. At the same time, the country is facing a continuously rising number of South Sudanese refugees that seek safety mainly in the northern parts of the country. Providing shelter is imperative and being able to supply eco-friendly solutions while creating local job opportunities makes this project a global pioneer.
“This IBS Foundation factory has the capacity to produce building material to construct up to 1,150 site offices, 600 school buildings, 4,250 shelters or 2,500 affordable dwelling units per year”, said Mr. Eckardt Dauck, Chairman of the IBS Foundation. “Through trainings and up-skilling programmes we plan to improve capacities in the construction and manufacturing sector, targeting direct job creation.”
Straw is the primary raw material in the production process and Amatheon will now deliver rice straw to the factory, therefore guaranteeing a stable supply. In addition, local farmers will benefit from this German partnership through new income opportunities and reduced environmental pollution that arises from the traditional burning of rice husks – thus having a positive impact on communities and livelihoods.
The installation of the IBS Foundation factory accompanies Amatheon’s holistic approach to develop not only its own farming activities, but also to support a strong local network surrounding the company’s farm.