Farm Clinic on today

Saturday July 7 2018

Farmers listen attentively during the r

Farmers listen attentively during the recent farm clinic in Mbarara. Photo by Felix Ainebyona 

By Denis Bbosa

Dr Sylvester Dickson Baguma, the Bulindi Zonal Agricultural Research Development Institute (Bulindi - Zardi) director has one assurance to Participants – the institution facilitators have tailor-made their agribusiness lectures according to the demands of the farmers.

Baguma, who holds a Master’s degree in Agriculture from Makerere University, a Master’s degree in Management Information Systems from Cranfiled University - UK and a PhD in Knowledge Management from Loughborough University in UK, reveals all is in place for their event to match the other Farm Clinic outings elsewhere.

“We expect more than 3000 farmers ranging from starters to progressive commercial farmers. The Farm Clinic will also be useful to students, processors, marketers, policy makers and NGOS and CSOs,” he asserted.

Baguma added; “We are more than ready to host the first ever farm clinic where farmers, processors, marketers and other stakeholders in the Albertine Districts will attend.”

Several exhibitors will showcase their technologies for improved farming practices ranging from land preparation, planting, harvesting, value addition and marketing.

According to Baguma, the best resource persons for each of the key enterprises will labour hard to see that those attending the farm clinic will remember the day as it is going to be a life-changing event.

What makes Bulindi - ZARDI special?
Bulindi - ZARDI is one of the 16 public agricultural research institutes of NARO. Their primary mission is to innovate for agricultural transformation.
The vision is to have a competitive society supported by an agricultural research innovation system while their goal is to increase total factor productivity and access to research products and services for inclusive growth

Oil vs. farming
Bunyoro region hasnt started developing the oil and the people in the region have been and will still depend on agriculture. Oil is a recent discovery.
Farmers are advised to uptake technologies that can exploit/target the oil market in the Albertine region. This ranges from different crops such as high yielding maize, beans, bananas, and quality dairy products such as milk and yoghurt, quality honey and its products, fish among others.

Climate change
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges experienced in the region. Baguma says Bulindi - ZARDI research scientists have developed climate smart technologies.

Farmers have been advised to embrace climate smart farming by using seed that is resistant to harsh climatic conditions embracing sustainable land management - SLM practices among the best technologies that can help in retaining water in soils for prolonged water retention and thus it’s availability in the dry spell for improved crop farming.

“Adapting dry season feeding for livestock is a good technology for improved livestock amidst climatic changes. I urge farmers and all those who derive income from farming related activities to turn up in big numbers,” says Baguma.
“I am convinced that the knowledge acquired from this farm clinic will make our people ready to transform their households through improved incomes. More so, it will contribute to making them ready to feed the oil and gas industry in the Albertine region,” the agronomist adds.

He stresses that all the demonstration facilities are ready to give the participants the best practical lessons.
“I thank Daily Monitor and its partners including CNOOC, Bank of Uganda, NTVU and other sponsors for helping us to have the first ever Farm Clinic in this region aimed at transforming the people. Seeds of Gold magazine, thank you very much for a job well-done in publicising the event. I look forward to seeing and interacting with thousands of stakeholders on Saturday (today) at Bulindi - ZARDI.”

What should participants expect?

Cage fish
Cage fish farming being a new technology in the Albertine region is worth learning, fish breeding for seed amongst farmer fish farms, fish value addition, and best management practices for better outputs and outcomes of fish farming.

Banana and value addition
Juice making besides selling of bananas will be disseminated to farmers; value addition, use of the remnant of banana juice procession as manure to improve on moisture content in the soils. Lucy Auma who has 15 years of agricultural research will focus banana agronomy, soil and water conservation, and diseases management.

Maize
High yielding maize varieties shall be showcased to the farmers with and measures on how to prevent and control the fall army worm. The fall army worm has been a menace to farmers in the region.
For starters, Bunyoro is the biggest maize producing region in Uganda. Today, farmers will have the opportunity to learn new practical skills of growing the ‘white gold’.

Rice
High yielding rice varieties of Nerica that have been tried on farm with good results shall be showcased to farmers and information on how best they can benefit disseminated.
Edith Karungi Edith; Crop Technician, with three years of agricultural research and extension experience will focus on both rice and maize agronomy and sustainable land management.

New high yielding cassava variety
With a sweet taste and highly nutritious of NAROCASS 1 shall be showcased. In addition participants will be exposed to proper ergonomic practices. Value addition of cassava such as making cassava chips and flour for increased income to farmers shall be showcased by the scientists.

Piggery
Pork is one of the delicacies in the Albertine region, this comes along with best breeds and health management practices to gain from the enterprise. Biosafety and biosecurity measures shall be articulated very well to the farmers for their benefit.

Good pig breeds for rearing shall be showcased to the farmers. Lwaki Mulabuke; Livestock Production Technician, will conduct trainings on basic pig and dairy cattle husbandry practices focusing on feeds and feed

ing, pasture conservation and feed formulation.

Apiary
Honey and its products comes along with various health benefits like control of chronic diseases like cancer healing properties among others. Bee products like bee venom, candles from beeswax and better honey preparation methods to suit the target market shall be showcased to the farmers. Lydia Kabasomi, an apiculture technician, will train the participants on different bee forages, identification and management of bee pests, queen rearing, and harvesting and processing different bee products (honey, wax, venom and propolis).

How you can get optimum maize yield in an acre
Maize farmers in Uganda are required to ensure that their soils are well structured if they are to gain optimum yields.
Every year many maize farmers suffer getting losses due to one problem or the other.
The vertical tillage concept: (recommended cultivation method) provides a system-based approach that focuses on methods of avoiding the creation of compacted layers in the soil which can inhibit all the natural processes that help feed the crop.
It includes the natural capillary action that permits water to filter gradually and drain through the soil. It also allows the root system to develop well and be healthy.
Through all this the plant is able to access both nutrients and moisture plus the movement of organisms like earthworms which help in aeration.
Horizontal tillage:
(disc ploughs) though create compacted layers of soil thus restricting root development and humidity movement through the soil. The roots in a top, lower density layer are diverted sideways when higher density layer is encountered. The compacted layers can also end up creating ponding on the soil and restrict capillary action.

TODAY
Bulindi Zonal Agricultural Research Development Institute (BulindiZARDI) in Hoima District
Enterprises
Bananas, Maize,
Rice, Cassava,
Piggery, Fish,
Apiary, Livestock

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