A total of 13 farmers from all around the country that emerged winners from the 2018 Best Farmers Awards were on Friday fragged off to the Netherlands.
The Best Farmers awards are organised by Dfcu bank in partnership with Vision Group under New Vision, KLM airlines and the Netherland Embassy to encourage and award farmers with best farming skills.
This year’s overall winner is Betty Mbaziira of Awa Dairy Farm and AWA foods from Isingiro district
The other winners include Magigye’s Aloysius Lubega of Bulamu mixed farm, Kamuli’s Julius Bataamye of JB Mixed Farm and Slaughter House, Moses Kiptala of Mengya Irish Farm from Kween district, Fruit farmer, Vincent Ojok from Lira in northern Uganda and David Wamai, a coffee and banana’s farmer from Manafwa.
Other winners include Shamim Napakol, a fruit farmer from Bukedea, Abel Kiddu of African Mushrooms Growers Uganda Ltd from Makindye, Del Mugisa, Banana Juice processor from Bunyangabu district and finally Faridah Lutale from Arua district who grows Bananas, vegetables and does zero grazing.
The winners who are traveling on Sunday 13th June were flagged off by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture and the representative of the Netherlands Embassy in Uganda.
Speaking at the flag off ceremony held at the Dfcu offices in Kampala, the Dfcu bank Chief Executive Officer Mathias Katamba noted that the bank was purposely investing in agriculture because it’s the backbone of Uganda, employing about 80% of the working population.
“There is so much potential in the agricultural sector. If fully utilized, Uganda would be able to feed over 200m people. We just need to do more in agricultural modernisation, value addition, production and productivity, Processing and product standards” he said.
Katamba noted that they had chosen Netherlands for the last five years because the country is known for employing the best agricultural methods in the world and is one of the biggest modern agricultural countries in the world.
“This trip has changed many farmers lives. We have seen a great improvement in farm and business management once these farmers come back. There is so much to learn and copy from there” he said
Mrs Mbaziira, who emerged winner thanked Dfcu and other organisers of the Best Farmers competition for setting up a platform where farmers can compete and learn from one another.
“Whoever participated in this competition is a winner and will never be the same again. We have learnt so much. I believe I won because of value addition. Farmers are losing so much because they are selling raw goods. I am excited to be part of the group that is going to the Netherlands. I believe there is so much to learn” she said.
The year’s Best Farmers awards were themed “Farming as a Business’.