Saturday May 20 2017

Heifer International company joins Monitor Farm Clinic

By Beatrice Nakibuuka

Kampala. In a bid to boost dairy farming in Uganda, Heifer International is partnering with Seeds of Gold magazine to organise the Monitor Publications Limited’s Farm Clinics this year.
The clinics will be held in western Uganda in May, eastern Uganda in July and central Uganda in September.
The dairy company, with 70 years of experience in dairy farming, will extend skills to farmers in order to stimulate production through value addition.

Mr Joshua Zimbe, the country project manager for East Africa dairy project, told this newspaper this week that there are many people who do farming as a business and to maximise profits, people need knowledge and information on how to adequately earn from what they have invested. Mr Zimbe said: “People will get skills from elsewhere because we also operate in other countries. We believe farmers will get equipped with basic skills, especially in dairy production.”
According to Mr William Matovu, the Heifer International country director, the farm clinics will enable farmers share experiences, skills and information. He said this will be done through extension of messages, training and transfer of technology.

Mr Matovu added: “The partnership means a lot to us as Heifer International because one of our core values is to impact livelihoods of farmers who are the major target audience.”
The farm clinics will help link farmers with experts as they share their experiences with them and will create a network to link them to good service providers and access market.
“Farmers will get skills on diversification, which is crucial if they are to be resilient. Multi-equipping farming helps farmers survive when they fail in a particular type of farming,” Mr Matovu added.
Other companies that have registered to participate in the climate change smart agriculture Farm Clinic include MTK Uganda, which deals in animal drugs and health products, Quality Chemicals, which deals in animal drugs, Novus and Vitalac, which deals in animal nutrition and Seed Co, a supplier of seeds.

The first farm clinic is scheduled for May 27 in Mbarara District. There will be skills and information sharing on improved seed varieties of beans, cassava, maize, sorghum and cotton, which are tolerant to drought and the use of organic fertilisers such as manure to increase soil fertility.
Participants will tour the Mbarara Zonal Agriculture Research and Development Institute and be exposed to expert knowledge on various subjects, including how to produce better products for the market.

The Clinic

Date. Saturday May 27.
Venue. Mbarara Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute
Fee. Shs20,000 (includes farm tour, lunch, transport and training) payable at Monitor Mbarara Bureau, plot 4, Burembe Road, Mpororo building.
Time. 7am.