Farm Clinic returns to quench farmers’ agribusiness thirst

Saturday July 27 2019

A fisheries expert educates farmers on best

A fisheries expert educates farmers on best practices of keeping fish recently. Photo by Rachel Mabala 

By Denis Bbosa

After thorough research by Nation Media Group (NMG) and National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro), it was concluded that the rotational Seeds of Gold Farm Clinics be taken to new areas to break more ground.
As such, it was resolved that each Naro centre or region benefits from the resourceful Farm Clinic twice to enable the entire country reap from the tangible benefits.

According to Monitor Publications Limited (MPL) Senior Promotions and Activations Officer Connie Kunihira Ssebuliba, the clinics will return to Hoima and Lira before breaking new ground in Mbale, Masaka and Mukono, agribusiness with vast potential for agribusiness to boom if given tips of new farming technologies.

“The feedback we got from Bunyoro encouraged us to go back for the second time as farmers shared their success stories and challenges since the first edition,” Ssebuliba told Seeds of Gold.
She added: “The experts have scrapped off some enterprises and added new concepts to be taught such as crop and livestock species, post-harvest handling, agribusiness and crop/livestock management which we believe are the modern tenets of the agribusiness sector in Uganda.”

Bunyoro ready
Dr Sylvester Dickson Baguma, the Bulindi Zardi director maintains they have added on the list more animal and crop experts to meet the lofty expectations from the farmers.
Baguma, who holds a Master’s degree in Agriculture from Makerere University, a Master’s degree in Management Information Systems from Cranfield University - UK and a PhD in Knowledge Management from Loughborough University in UK, will lead a rich cast of seasoned tutors all armed to teach the trending farming technologies.

“We can handle more than 3,000 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 added. Baguma expects farmers, processors, marketers and other stakeholders in the Albertine districts to attend in droves like they did last time. He stressed that all the demonstration facilities are ready to give the participants the best practical lessons.

About Bulindi Zardi
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 has not started exploiting 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 take up 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 which include milk and yoghurt, quality honey and its products to fish, among others.

Climate change theme
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. Also embracing sustainable land management – SLM practices that can help in retaining water in soils for prolonged water retention, making it available 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. They will live to harvest from their investment in attending the day. I am convinced that the knowledge acquired from the first farm clinic made our people ready to transform their households through improved incomes. It could also contribute to making them ready to feed the oil and gas industry in the Albertine region.”

What to expect?

Cage fish
Cage fish farming being a new technology in the Albertine region, it is worth learning. Fish breeding for seed amongst fish farms, fish value addition, and best management practices for better outputs and outcomes of fish farming will also be tackled by the experts.

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

Maize, rice production
High yielding maize varieties shall be showcased to the farmers.
Measures on how to prevent and control the fall army worm such a big menace to farmers’ yields shall be addressed.
This will also include proper agronomic practices. 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, a crop technician, with three years of agricultural research and extension experience will focus on maize agronomy and sustainable land management.

High yielding cassava
Narocass 1, which has a sweet taste and is highly nutritious, will be showcased.
In addition, participants will be exposed to proper ergonomic practices. Value addition of cassava to make cassava chips and flour for increased income to farmers shall also be explored.

Piggery technologies

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 to the farmers for their benefit.
Good pig breeds for rearing shall
be showcased to the farmers.
Lwaki Mulabuke, a livestock production technician, will conduct trainings on basic pig and dairy cattle husbandry focusing on feeds and feeding, pasture conservation and feed formulation.
Honey and its products comes along with several health benefits like control of chronic diseases such as cancer healing properties, among others. Bee products such as 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).

Seeds of Gold Farm Clinic
Theme: Climate Smart Farming
Date: August 10, 2019
Venue: Bulindi Zonal Agricultural Research Development Institute (Bulindi Zardi) in Hoima District
Enterprises: Bananas, maize, cassava, piggery, fish, apiary (honey, wax &venom)
Time: 7am
FREE: Entrance, breakfast, lunch and training
Inquiries: 0701770983/0775197050
Sponsors: Bank of Uganda, NARO, Stanbic Bank, NTV and Seeds of Gold