Eunice Gumisiriza, a seasoned farmer in western Uganda is not shy to share the benefits she accrued from last year’s Seeds of Gold Farm Clinic session at Mbarara Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MBAZARDI).
“I retired nine years ago, but never had opportunity to get such information like that from the Farm Clinic. Not even my profession (graduated 47 years ago with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture) made me get this knowledge had it not been the initiative of the Daily Monitor to show me the real world application of agriculture,” she recounts with pride.
Gumisiriza adds; “It taught me how to irrigate oranges with bottles and the output is now more than triple, introduction of new variety of high yielding beans. This season yields were very high-eight sacks per acre compared to one and half sacks before.”
She is not alone in giving positive feedback from the clinic, Phylis Ariho also shares her story.
“Due to the drought season, my garlic project failed to yield to my expectation but I am very optimistic next season will be a success because of the knowledge from the farm clinic, I plan to implement bottle irrigation,” Ariho explains.
Farm clinics back
The success tales are many as the Farm clinic returns to MBAZARDI next month with a renewed bite and reach.
According to MPL marketing manager Sarah Nalule Walakira, the modern production techniques of enterprises such as dairy, banana, passion fruits, cassava, beans, mango and maize will be discussed by the experts.
“In 2018, the clinics and symposium will continue to focus on climate change as the theme as this was not fully exhausted in 2017 and is still a challenge for Ugandans,” she explains.
Nalule says the clinics will encompass practical sessions with government research experts and exhibitor sessions in areas of planting, breeding, financing post-harvest handling, markets, value addition, sustainable, land management, water harvesting and irrigation.
“This year, both active and prospective farmers will get practical training from our facilitators who have rich information on agriculture. These farm clinics have been tailored that farmers improve awareness of modern farming and in the long run mitigating climate change effects,” revealed Seeds of Gold Magazine Editor Charles Tabu.
Among other benefits, this edition of the Farm Clinic is expected to provide the participants with farming information, promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change, link farmers to stakeholders in the agricultural industry and increase collaboration between private sector, development partners and government.
“It will hinge on strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity to climate related hazards and natural disasters through practical training and dissemination of simplified information,” says Tabu.
With more partners expected to come on board, NARO, ABI (Agricultural Business Initiative), Heifer International and NTV are already among the confirmed sponsors.