Farmers in Western Uganda have been advised to adopt improved methods of farming to improve quality and quality of their yields
Over 1000 farmers on Tuesday converged at Asili farms in Kigumba, Kiryandondo district for the Farmers’ Day, organized by Agilis Partners, to learn on how they can improve maize planting to improve the quality and quantity of their yields that can be sold on the national and international markets
Every year, towards the harvest season, Agilis through its partner company, the Joseph Initiative invites small holder farmers from districts of Kiryandongo, Masindi, and sometimes Gulu and Kasese to visit their farms and look at the different methods the farm is employing to ensure quality and quantity yields
The farmers are taken through the technicalities of proper farm and crop management including timing, spacing and management of the crops to ensure timely harvesting and maximizing of yields in both quality and quantity
Juan Acutain the operations in-charge at Agilis advised farmers to prepare their lands early before the rains, use the right quality of seeds, do the right spacing of the crops, ensure proper management of the crop by spraying and use of manure where necessary, but also to be watchful in case of any disease like the armyworm for early control.
“The Army worm remains the biggest challenge for farmers in the area and the whole of Uganda. The challenge most farmers have is that they wait until the disease has spread and by the time they procure the pesticides and spray, most plants have already been affected. It is advisable for farmers to be on the watch for early signs so that they look for a solution before the disease spreads,” he said
The RDC Kiryandongo district, Peter Debele who graced the function asked farmers to put into action the information given to them by experts to improve food production and food security in the areas
“Normally from an acre of land, one is supposed to get 15 bags of maize but some farmers get only three bags because of poor methods,” he said.
According to Bbale Rogers, a senior agronomist at Asili farms, the main reason for the training is to ensure that farmers produce quality goods that can easily be purchased and sold on the International market
“As Asili farms, we produce for the East Africa market but also supply to global organisation like World Food Program so sometimes, we cannot meet the high demand and we buy produces from farmers at premium prices. However, we cannot buy from them if the quality of their products are lacking hence the need for this training so that they can use the same methods we use here and meet the demand,” Bbale said
Inyani John Kazimiro, a small holder farmer from Kitwara parish, Kiryandongo district appreciated the training and said he will put into practice what he had learned. He further urged government to extend farming information to sub counties through extension workers.
Agilis Partners is an agricultural development company based in Masindi district in Uganda. It manages the Joseph Initiative Limited – a grain management and agricultural services company – and Asili Farms – a large scale sustainably-cultivated commercial corn, soy and rice
According to Benjamin Prinz the co-founder and managing partner of Agilis Partners, the farm is focussing at exporting grains allover East African countries. Currently it is Uganda’s largest farming business on approximately 13500 hectares of land with over 650 Ugandan employees and over Shs147.7 billion has been invested in since 2013.