By Ronald Kalyango
State minister for animal husbandry, Bright Rwamirama, amused residents of Kakyera sub-county in Rakai district when he launched a poultry project at night.
After launching a milk collection centre in Kyotera town council and later addressing farmers at Kakuto sub-county during the day on Friday, he arrived at the venue at around 7:30pm and later launched the project at around 9:00pm after lecturing farmers on the benefits of modern farming.
“I am sorry I have come late but I should not be blamed because I arrived in Rakai district at around 9:00am but found the first group of farmers I was supposed to address was not prepared,” he explained to farmers as they listened attentively in the dark.
At Kakyera sub-county, Rwamirama handed over 1, 250 Kuroirer poultry birds to 50 beneficiaries of Dwaniro women farmer’s association. Each beneficiary received 25 poultry birds (three weeks old).
Rwamirama said he didn't want to disappoint farmers who had waited for him to launch their project.
“My friend Amos Mandela (Kooki county MP) believes in organizing farmers to work in groups. Because of this initiative it’s the reason I decided to come and perform this activity despite being late in the night,” said Rwamirama.
State Minister for Animal Husbandry, Bright Rwamirama handing over Kuroiler poultry birds to beneficiaries at Kakyera sub-county in Rakai district. PHOTO/Ronald Kalyango
With the help of a small bulb mounted on top of the tree and headlights of his car and those of his technical officers, he lectured farmers about the benefits of dairy farming and working in groups before he handled over the chicks to the tired farmers.
He asked them to support President Yoweri Museveni and all NRM leaders in their district in the 2016 general elections.
“We should retain all leaders who have delivered the needed services to the electorate. While in Kyankwanzi we realised that there was someone who wanted to disorganise us that is why we decided to support President Museveni to be NRM’s sole candidate for the upcoming polls,” he said.
Rwamirama later pledged to support farmers with milk coolers and generators to be installed in the area to enable farmers to chill their milk.
He informed residents that Dairy Development Authority (DDA) technical officials will visit their area to assess the number of farmers engaged in dairy production and the suitable place where the coolers will be installed.
DDA's executive director; Dr. Jolly Zaribwende cautioned farmers against poor hygiene and quality of milk.
“We shall not spare anyone adulterating our milk. We want all stakeholders to adhere to the recommended standards to enable our products compete favorably with the imported products,” she explained.
Farmers however, asked DDA officials to conduct enough monitoring exercises in their area to crack down on dirty premises and those operating without licenses.
“We have a lot of fake drugs on the market and we the poor farmers can't easily identify them. We need technical officers from the ministry to take action against those engaged in their importation onto the market,” said Erias Lukwata.
Commenting about the donated chicks, beneficiaries appreciated government's efforts of supporting farmers with farm inputs geared towards fighting poverty in their households.
“I had about five local birds but when we were advised to form a farmer's group to work together, I hadn't not anticipated that there are several benefits that come with such initiative,” said Stella Mugerwa, one of the beneficiaries.
Minister launches poultry project