What you need to know:
- A first-of-its-kind food carnival in Kayunga is set to tantalise taste buds while educating and celebrating Uganda’s rich food culture this December.
Kayunga is so much more than land wrangles, and being the ‘United Nations’ of Uganda.
With the majority of Kayunga being used for agricultural production, it should be no surprise that some of the most mouth-watering produce also comes from this beautiful area of beautiful swamps, and cultural sites.
This year, Kaynela Farms will host the first ever food carnival in the area as a way of sampling the culinary delights in one location.
The three-day festival, scheduled from December 3rd to 5th, aims to spotlight Uganda’s culinary richness, attract investors to the food business, and foster connections among stakeholders while sharing information on global market products and services. The event will feature food tastings, cooking master classes by local chefs, outdoor grills, and thrilling entertainment.
Organised by Kaynela Farms, an agritourism enterprise in Kayunga District, Kayonza sub-county, Baale County, Bwamulamira village, the festival promises a unique experience rooted in traditional farming heritage, local recipes, and interactive dining.
Daniel Mubeezi, the farm’s Operations Manager, emphasises the importance of reviving healthy meals through showcasing ancient farming practices and organic food production.
“This is an excellent opportunity for people to not only hear about the ancient farming practices, but also for them to experience it and then to be able to taste and purchase the foods that are organically produced,” Mubeezi says.
Kaynela Farms boasts of eight years promoting sustainable organic farming. “We want to shift the focus from unhealthy junk food to nutritious options. At Kaynela, we’ll demonstrate traditional methods like mortar-pounded groundnuts and safe food preservation without refrigeration. Pure forms of items like beef, ghee, and honey will also be showcased,” says Mubeezi.
Apart from the culinary delights, the festival will feature an evening street food market (‘salawano’), farm tours, locally-brewed banana juice beer, bonfires, and discussions on healthy food systems. Live music from local artists, including the legendary Maddox Ssematimba, will add a vibrant touch to the event.
“The food festival will showcase some of the top culinary experiences our community has to offer. There will be farm-fresh, high-quality foods together with the extraordinary culinary skills of 27 local chefs to create a unique community showcase. This rich food culture is part of what makes Uganda the food basket of Africa, says Mubeezi.
Peace Kayesu, Kaynela’s Managing Director says the farm specialises in growing fruits, and vegetables as well as livestock, aquaculture and poultry, with a primary focus on sustainable and organic farming practices. The farm utilises solar power and drip irrigation to ensure year-round cultivation.
Beyond the opportunity to savour some delicious dishes, the festival introduces visitors on the 75-acre farm to agro-tourism experiences.
The farm, which is accredited by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Avian Conservation Uganda Society (ACUS), and Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) has a great bird watching experience.
More than 50 bird species have been recorded on the farm including bulbul (ssossolye), Willow warbler, piapiac, black-winged kite, and the black-faced waxbill, African green pigeon, Rüppell’s starling, Grosbeak weaver, among the birds one can watch.
Describing Kaynela Farm as a birder’s paradise, Kayesu invites families to bring children to learn about traditional farming practices and the stages of preparing traditional meals.
“Kaynela Farm is diverse. It is a birder’s paradise with wild and ornamental birds, with on-farm cottages and biodiversity farming. We are calling upon families to bring children to learn how it was done and the stages of traditional meals,” Kayesu says.