Potato farmers in Kigezi sub-region will benefit from free agronomists extension services offered through Potato Processing Industries Limited, which is supported by businessman Tom Mugenga.
Mr Mugenga, who is also the chairman of Kisoro Potato Processing Industries Limited, said the company will employ agronomists to engage the farmers at no cost.
“The biggest challenge farmers have faced in producing potatoes is post-harvest losses, poor quality of seeds and storage, but this will be addressed by the agronomists,” Mr Mugenga said during a tour of the factory in Kisoro recently.
The agronomists will start with farmers in Kisoro District before moving to neighbouring districts.
“We plan to expand in the coming months based on our revamped production and we want to engage the youth and women to start farming since it is very lucrative,” Mr Mugenga said.
Mr Gilbert Bavuga, a farmer in Mutolere village said the move will transform the sector. He said many farmers live in poverty because of low prices and exploitation.
“Apart from poor prices and lack of market, farmers do not get certified seeds and value addition for their produce. We hope this plant will change all that,” he said.
The finance ministry recently announced that the factory would be taken over by the government. But Mr Mugenga refuted the allegations saying that the plant was a private company which was set up using private money.
“Those who have told lies about this project should know this project is for the greater benefit of farmers in the Kigezi region, which produces a lot of potatoes. The farmers have little to show for their toil. This plant will process their potatoes and offer them a market,” he said.