- Northern Uganda farmers have made their demands for the first ever Seeds Of Gold Monitor Farm Clinic in Lira on October 13 clear - they want to improve citrus and dairy production. According to Ngetta Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (NgettaZARDI) Director, Dr Laban Turyagenda, the two enterprises will attract the biggest emphasis among seven to be tackled, writes Denis Bbosa.
Dr Turyagenda reveals that citrus and dairy are the most sought after agribusiness enterprises in northern Uganda but unfortunately they are threatened by the climate change scourge.
“They are exposed to the drought in the area which makes their production difficult for the farmers,” he said.
“The Farm Clinic will try to teach the crop agronomy, disease and pest management, value addition and post harvest and handling of citrus which will offer a lasting remedy,” Dr Turyagenda added.
He stresses that the dairy sector in northern Uganda may not be booming as it is in the western and central regions but there is light at the end of the tunnel, especially with farming initiatives like the Farm Clinics.
“The dairy production was greatly affected by the Lord’s Resistence Army (LRA) insurgence, so it needs rehabilitating. The government is trying to give them Friesian cows (through the poverty eradication initiative, Operation Wealth Creation but the drought is a constant problem,” he added.
The dairy production session will, therefore, encompass vital topics like dry season farming techniques, animal health, productivity, value addition, breed varieties and market linkages.
The managing director of Nation Media Group – Uganda, Mr Tony Glencross reiterated this in a press conference held in Namuwongo, Kampala on Tuesday.
“To enhance wealth creation in Uganda, there needs to be provision of practical information and knowledge to bridge the gap on production and productivity in the various value chains,” he clarified.
Turyagenda maintains that the other five enterprises will equally be addressed by a lineup of 14 crop and animal experts.
“We shall train farmers on how they can continue with dairy, maize, rice, cassava, and citrus farming, among others, regardless of the climate disasters,” he said.
Two farm clinics to go
Five Seeds of Gold farm clinics have been planned for 2018, with three already concluded in Mbarara in western Uganda, Hoima in Mid-western Uganda, and in Kampala, central Uganda. Monitor Publications Ltd Senior Promotions manager Connie Kunihira Ssebuliba commended sponsors Bank Of Uganda, Agricultural Business initiative (aBi), Nation Agricultural Research Institute and NTV for adding value on the sector.
The dairy production sessions will tackle vital challenges like dry season farming techniques, animal health, productivity, value addition, breed varieties and market linkages.
Lira is among the northern Uganda areas also recovering from the effects of the Kony war