Ugandan farmers with intent into commercial farming have received a boost with the introduction of training and demonstration sessions at one of the leading commercial farm in Mukono.
The farm owned by General Katumaba Wamala is offering training and demonstration sessions to farmers in order to increase agricultural productivity in the country through adoption of modern age skills and farm inputs. Charles Mulwana the farm manager of Buyigi Estate farm which is located along Katosi road in Mukono explained that they have now revamped the farm to include almost all the essential agricultural. “We have diversified our investment to include poultry, fruits farming, Banana farming, mushroom, greenhouse, biogas dairy, vegetable and piggery among others. Although the farm was established mainly as a private one, the success it has received and the aspiration of general to change the rural agriculture has necessitated the set up of a model ideal for training and skill sharing,” noted Mulwana.
The training according to Mulwana facilitates knowledge and skills sharing among the rural farmers in the area. “The demonstration farm will act as a learning centre to extend best practices like organic crop production and animal rearing methods. We encourage farmers to be realistic and practical aiming at using the available resources to improve their livelihoods.” On the farm, the rural farmers learn how to improve their farming methods and yields regardless of the size of their farms, financial status or even level of education. The training is also aimed at helping reinvent the spirit of cooperative farming, helping individual farmers enjoy advantages like collective economies of scale.
Currently there are over 400 farmer individuals and organizations that have received training from the model farm. The trainings are organised as per the demand and schedule available. Depending on the needs of the farmer or organization, the trainings can last for hours, days or even weeks. Mulwana explained that although everything is done in order to improve on farmers livelihoods, there is a modest fee that is not fixed paid which is used to facilitate the events. “We conduct the trainings and sometimes invite experts to shade more light and obviously the experts need some appreciation hence the modest feed we charge,” added Mulwana.
The farm has also been used to inspire other men in uniform into commercial farming. The farm is owned by a general and commander of the land forces and as expected, has been used to inspire more men in uniform to also embrace commercial farming alongside their role of protecting the country. “We have trained several men in uniform through their army Sacco of Wazalendo. As a result, a number of them have initiated agricultural projects that are supplementing their livelihoods,” noted Mulwana.