Uganda Today: The Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, flagged off a working partnership with the Uganda National Farmers Federation where farmers can expect to get timely farming advisories and a more interactive extension platform.
The Memorandum of Understanding which was entered into in 2021 is to set grounds for the future of the agriculture sector, as it lays a foundation for the participation of the farmers in the implementation of activities meant for them.
The president of the farmers’ federation, Mr. Dick N. Kamuganga thanked the ministry for making a decision to work with the farmer’s leadership citing that this will help bridge that gap between the farmers and the main leadership of the ministry.
He emphasized that the farmers’ federation is a federation for the farmers, by the farmers and for the farmers. He added that the federation has implemented four core functions which include mobilizing farmers, organize farmers into farmer groups, area cooperatives, empower farmers through peer to peer learning platforms and also to coordinate actors within the government sector and lastly act as the voice for all farmers in the country.
“It’s on this basis that this historical occasion is important for the transformation and achievement of the vision of the president of the Republic of Uganda,” Dr. Kamuganga added.
Welcoming the partnership, the Permanent Secretary, Maj. Gen. David Kasura Kyomukama said that this would be the first of many such partnerships that would enable the Ministry reach its grass-root customers, the farmers. He reiterated that the goal of the ministry would be to transform more farmers from subsistence to commercial agriculture by educating the farmers.
On his part, the Minister of State for Animal Industry, Hon. Rwamirama Bright congratulated the Ministry on the milestone of the partnership between the two entities saying that it was long overdue. He pledged to support this engagement saying it was the way to go for the sector. He highlighted about the 4 areas of actualization which include: (i) collaboration between technical teams with UNFFE and Commended the Hon. minister of MAAIF for pushing for this partnership.
“Now that we have a framework for working together with the farmers’ federation. We should make sure that as a ministry, we are working with the farmer’s leadership to make agriculture work for us all as a nation”.
Hon. Tumwebaze congratulated the team for this milestone and also noted that there are two major channels of reaching out to the farmers and these are Extension and the second one is the Uganda National Farmers federation (UNFFE).
“Let’s entice the people with idle land to each plant 100 acres of coffee and at the end of the season we will have a very good number of coffee bags thus making use of the idle land “said Hon Tumwebaze.
He added that, “If the farmers’ federation gets us 10,000 farmers each with 100 acres, we will give them tractors, support them with and they will give us a very good number of coffee bags”
Hon. Tumwebaze promised the meeting that the data picked by the farmers’ federation would be used to come up with interventions in the agriculture sector.
The Farmers’ Federation will be expected to come up with farming profiles of the different sub-regions and putting together the dominant enterprises in the sub-regions across the country. This partnership is tandem with Government’s initiatives of promoting both the Parish Development Model and the Agro Industrialization program which targets both the small holder farmers and the commercial farmers who will be considered as lead farmers.
The Farmers Federation will work with the Ministry in the roll out of the Farmers Barazas which will be structured to discuss the real issues on the ground in the sector