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1,000 farmers get skills in modern farming

By Henry Nsubuga

Added 21st September 2018 03:46 PM

Farmers also got a chance to interact with the suppliers of genuine seeds and other agricultural inputs who exhibited the products as recommended by ISSD.

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Farmers also got a chance to interact with the suppliers of genuine seeds and other agricultural inputs who exhibited the products as recommended by ISSD.

Farmers in different groups receiving training on the best ways of growing vegetables at MUZARD in Ntaawo, Mukono Municipality by ISSD. Photos by Henry Nsubuga

FARMING VEGETABLES TRAINING

The Mukono Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MUZARD) in conjunction with the Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) have trained over 1,000 farmers on the modern and best practices in growing vegetables.

The Chief of Party ISSD Uganda, Astrid Mastenbroek, said they intended to promote the use of quality seeds by farmers for better yields with less application of pesticides because the varieties are resistant to pests and diseases.

“We found it important for the small holder farmers mostly from urban centres to expose them to the advanced vegetable varieties, which are high yielding and are tolerant to most of the crop diseases. These are mostly imported,” Astrid said.

 


The two-day training held at MUZARD headquarters in Ntaawo, Mukono Municipality gathered participants from Mukono, Luuka, Iganga, Kapchorwa, Luweero and other districts. The farmers were trained in two shifts of 500 with each group receiving a training for one day.

Astrid said with the support from Netherlands, ISSD first trained the trainers, who are now training the local farmers so that the technology is widely disseminated to farmers.

She said they mainly handled vegetables because they have a ready market, yet they do not require big chunks of land.

 

“With this type of farming, we are discouraging frequent use of pesticides, which are mostly abused by farmers aiming at getting high yields and at the end cause health hazards to the consumers of those vegetables and other crops,” she said.

Cate Nakatugga Adilu, the ISSD vegetable manager, said with the practices exhibited to farmers, they can be managed without incurring a lot of money into the farming business.

Nakatugga said they set up the demonstration gardens so that farmers can be able to see practically how the growing can be done for better yields.

The bishop of Mukono diocese, James William Ssebaggala who led the group of farmers from Mukono district recommended the exhibited practices, saying with frequent land fragmentation in Uganda today, when these practices are followed well, one can get enough money from a small piece of land.

Ssebaggala, however, asked the Government to come up and address the problem of fake agricultural inputs, which are on the market, saying many Ugandans have lost millions of money due to the use of either fake seeds or pesticides.

“It’s so unfortunate that the complaint of fake agricultural inputs has persisted for years without any address to it by the government. Farmers are losing their capital to zero due to that same issue, which can be addressed by government using its agencies like the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) and many others,” he urged.

 
Farmers also got a chance to interact with the suppliers of genuine seeds and other agricultural inputs who exhibited the products as recommended by ISSD.

Deo Nsubuga, a youth from Mukono Central Division, said he was happy by what was taught because it inspired him to start his own vegetable garden and that he was assured of bumper harvests more so if he follows the given guidelines.

Nsubuga asked the Ministry of Agriculture to have the extension agriculture officers at the sub-county level, which can help farmers to learn from them.

Robinah Gafabusa, a tomato farmer said they were also taught how to use traps in order to get rid of pests instead of using pesticides all the time.

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