By Jackie Nalubwama
At 30 years old, Jean Kaahwa has been farming since he finished university – something most youths can’t imagine doing.
A graduate of commerce with a major in marketing from Makerere University Business School, he has previously been ridiculed for taking on farming, an activity that is widely seen as lowly.
“So many people have abused me that “how can you go to St. Mary’s College Kisubi and be a farmer?” said Kaahwa.
But the joke has turned around and Kaahwa has beaten the odds and made it, not only as a farmer but as Africa Ambassador 2015.
This award, given by a Dutch company that manufactures agricultural equipment– AGCO Africa, had 120 participants from around Africa of which about 10 were from Uganda. Kaahwa said Kenya and Nigeria made up the biggest number of applicants.
Smiling and glad to have won the $10, 000 dollar award, Kaahwa said the road to success has been rather bumpy with some failed projects, such as last year’s horticulture project in Kamuli.
“I was growing bitter tomatoes (entula) but the dry season destroyed them,” he said.
Not one to brood over failure, Kaahwa said he had to keep farming and hope that a better harvest will soon be reaped.
Indeed he was right because he will represent Africa at the agriculture summit next year in Berlin, where he said he will promote agribusiness in Africa at that platform.
Known for his fish farming passion, Kaahwa is the general manager of Shalom Fish Farm Limited in Luzira, along the shores of L. Victoria.
“I love fish farming,” he said but he has also faced challenges with fishing. He once lost a hatchery as L. Victoria’s water levels rose and swept away about 1000 fish fry.
Down but not low, Kaahwa started afresh and his farm flourishes as he gets ready to push the case for agriculture in Africa, especially for Africa’s youth in Berlin next January.
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Kaahwa is Africa agriculture ambassador