By: Ismael Kasooha
A three-day Farmer Mobilisation, Education, Value-addition and Service Delivery campaign in Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts ended on Sunday.
The campaign was led by the Office of the Prime Minister in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries as well as other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
This nationwide campaign includes agricultural expos, visiting model farmers and knowledge-sharing sessions. It has previously been held in Mubende, Kiboga, Kyankwanzi, Mityana, Kasanda, Nakaseke, Luwero, Nakasongola, Kibaale, Kagadi and Kakumiro Districts.
Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja told farmers at the agricultural expos in Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule that the campaign was designed to implement the six policy guidelines issued by President Yoweri Museveni last year.
They include production, multiplication, distribution, and certification of seeds and stocking materials; disease control; agricultural mechanisation and irrigation; farmer education and mobilisation; partnerships with big land owners and Interventions in the fisheries sector.
The Prime Minister together with Ministers Fred Bwino Kyakulaga (Minister of State for Agriculture), Aisha Sekindi (Minister of State for Water), Anifa Kawooya (Minister of State for Health) and local leaders visited several model farmers before speaking to the people at the expos in the three districts. Some of these model farmers included Peter Nyanzi, Wilson Tumuhairwe and Semirembe Emmanuel, the livestock and coffee farmers (Sembabule), Aisha Sekindi, the Minister, Ismael Lyazzi Bemba and Siraji Kafeero, the poultry, coffee and dairy farmers (Kalungu).
Others were Paul Mulindwa and Mohammad Kanyangire Kalevu, who are banana and coffee farmers (Bukomansimbi).
The farmers thanked the Government for creating a peaceful environment that has enabled them to engage in commercial agriculture. They also thanked the Government for the various forms of support it has extended to them such as setting up on their farms small irrigation facilities.
“I thank the Government for the support it has given me for the last eight years which has enabled me to fend for the family and pay tuition for my children,” Nyanzi said.
Water for production
Shartis Kutesa Musherure, the Mawogola North MP in Sembabule, asked the Government to build irrigation facilities in the district to provide farmers with water for production. She added that the district experiences long dry spells that negatively affect farmers. “The people of Sembabule are typically cattle keepers and cultivators but we have a challenge of lack of water for production which is hindering progress,” she added.
Bwino said the Government would establish dams in the district to provide the farmers with water for production.
At the expo venues, there were several agricultural inputs, equipment and various types of food items on the exhibition stalls. The farmers had an opportunity to interact with various agricultural experts at the expos.
MPs Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga County), Anifa Kawooya (Mawogola West) and Musherure lauded the Government for the initiative.
“This intervention by the President to mobilise farmers to increase production and productivity is the way to go,” Sekikubo said.
Parish Development Model
Haruna Kasolo, the Minister of State for Micro-finance, who also participated in the campaign, asked the farmers to take advantage of the Parish Development Model and Emyooga to achieve socioeconomic transformation.
During the campaign, the Prime Minister gave some of the farmers equipment and livestock as well as motorcycles to the Agricultural Extension workers on behalf of the President.