Saturday June 9 2018

Monitor Farm Clinic: Sponsors promise more partnerships

 Farmers listen attentively as aBi’s George Mut

Farmers listen attentively as aBi’s George Mutagubya explains the products they offer to farmers during a Farm Clinic two weeks ago in Mbarara. Photo by Felix Ainebyona 

By Denis Bbosa

Although they came on board majorly as exhibitors, NSSF relationship manager Donald Asiimwe, says they can hardly resist the allure of joining a sponsorship partnership with the farm Clinic organisers – Daily Monitor.
“We were able to talk to a lot of farmers about voluntary savings and many members learned the value of putting money aside for their yields,” Asiimwe revealed.

“We extended services to some members who have never saved or heard about our scheme. I also suggest the farm clinic lasts about three days because there is always a lot of information to disseminate. That said, we had a good start and looking forward to working together with the Farm Clinic in Hoima and all other regions,” he added.

Heifer International
To Dr Richard Wanyama the East African Dairy Development cluster leader at Heifer International, they got more than they bargained for at the Farm Clinic in Mbarara a fortnight ago.

“Heifer has been doing climate smart farming since 1944 but we were glad to interact with many farmers from Western Uganda and hundreds of farmers from Eastern Uganda,” he said.

Wanyama reveals that the Farm Clinic session availed Heifer a platform to answer many farmers challenges concerning how they can get good quality cattle breeds.

“We have created a national farmers forum to share information on liquid nitrogen, how to create their own breeds using imported semen, improve on the poor quality of milk, and advised them to make cooperatives if they are to tap into the wider East African market,” he added.

aBi
“As aBi we are proud to associate with the Farm Clinic for a third year running because it is bearing fruits now. The quality of training, the organisation and the number of participants that keeps increasing indicate that the initiative is meeting its targets. We look forward to a long time partnership with MPL to develop the agribusiness sector and add a brick on wealth creation of farmers,” aBi advocacy and communication manager George Mutagubya stressed. aBi who are one of the main sponsors have committed more than Shs100m in the farm clinics.

Bank of Uganda
Rosette Bamwine, the head of Agricultural Credit Facility at Bank of Uganda says the central bank will play a pivotal role in the forthcoming Farm Clinics.

“We joined farm clinic starting with the MBAZARDI event because it helps promote the agricultural credit facility under Bank of Uganda (BOU) and government,” says Bamwine.

She added: “We provide loans to farmers and agro-processers at more favourable terms. It is a partnership between the government and financial institutions regulated by BOU. The loans are given under favourable terms, interest rate is on maximum 12 per cent per annum and loan period is up to eight years with a grace period of up to three years.”

Bamwine revealed they give loans to agricultural value chain activities such as mulching, production, opening land, irrigation, harvesting and machinery.

Bamwine urged farmers to access the opportunity through their banks because banks are interested in food security, mechanisation and commercialised agriculture.

“We shall continue partnering with farm clinic because it has have solved many agricultural problems and given practical coaching and demonstrations to farmers,” she stressed.

The training
Dr Johnson Muhangi from Sheema District, was among the attendees. His aim was to learn how to be a successful dairy farmer. “I have been growing bananas and I wanted to begin rearing dairy cows. I was to start last year but faced logistical challenge,” he said. Anita Ayebale, a farmer with five cows from Ibanda, wanted to learn how to improve milk production. “I have been having challenges on silage-making. From my two lactating cows,” she said.

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