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Saturday,February 16,2019 10:48 AM

Woman wins Uganda 2018 best farmers award

By John Semakula, Geoffrey Mutegeki

Added 8th December 2018 11:09 AM

Betty Mbazira from Isingiro District was announced the winner, becoming the first woman to win the annual Best Farmer’s competition since it started five years ago.

Bettymbazira 703x422

Betty Mbazira from Isingiro District was announced the winner, becoming the first woman to win the annual Best Farmer’s competition since it started five years ago.

Betty Mbazira celebrates upon being announced overall winner of Best Farmers’ competition at Vision Group head offices on Friday. Photos by Miriam Namutebi

AGRICULTURE

KAMPALA - Betty Mbazira from Isingiro District has emerged the winner of the 2018 Best Farmer’s Awards, becoming the first woman to win the annual competition since it started five years ago.

After reading her name, she walked to the stage raising her hands in the air in disbelief of what had happened.

“My story is long but with this victory, the sky is the limit,” she said.

he etherlands mbassador to ganda enk an akker right and fcus managing director athias atamba left hand over a cheque to etty bazira thirdleft  the overall winner of est armers competition as her daughter atasha bazira 2nd left looks onThe Netherlands Ambassador to Uganda Henk Jan Bakker (right) and Dfcu's managing director Mathias Katamba (left) hand over a cheque to Betty Mbazira (third-left) , the overall winner of Best Farmers competition as her daughter Natasha Mbazira (2nd left) looks on

 
“When I go to the Netherlands for the trip, I want to learn more about the different products of milk and how to make a cow that currently gives 10 litres of milk in a day to reach 50 litres.”

She was given a plaque and dummy cheque worth sh50m from dfcu Bank. 

The 2nd overall winner, Alosious Lubega from Wakiso District and the third overall, Julius Bataamye from Kamuli district were also handed dummy cheques worth sh30m and sh20m, respectively.

The 2018 Best Farmer’ Competition award winners were unveiled on Friday night at colorful ceremony held the New Vision head-offices in Kampala.

 ision roups hief xecutive fficer obert abushenga right takes a selfie with est armer winner eo ugisa centre and his wife Vision Group's Chief Executive Officer Robert Kabushenga (right) takes a selfie with Best Farmer winner Deo Mugisa (centre) and his wife

 
Excitement filled the air as Uganda’s 13 Best Farmers for 2018 were announced.

The colourful ceremony started at around 6:30pm although the guests began arriving as early as 4:00pm. The awarding stage was decorated with fresh ready to harvest bananas, sugarcane, simsim plants, and maize which created a live farm atmosphere at the gala.

Other prominent farmers who hit the top 10 list of winners from the different regions of Uganda were: Patrick Ssekimpi from Luwero district, Deo Mugisa Bunyangabu District, Shamim Napakol Osekeny Bukedea, Moses Kiptala, Kween District, Vincent Ojok Lira District, Faridah Lutale Arua District and Joice Acan from Gulu District.

 he etherlands mbassador to ganda enk an akker centre and ision roups hief xecutive fficer obert abushenga seated fourthleft with the sponsors of est armers competition and overall winners The Netherlands Ambassador to Uganda Henk Jan Bakker (centre) and Vision Group's Chief Executive Officer Robert Kabushenga (seated, fourth-left) with the sponsors of Best Farmers competition and overall winners

 
The three additional winners, recognised in a special category of value addition were David Wamai Manafwa District, John Ruhombe Kamugisha from Kiruhura and Abel Kiddu from Kampala.

According to the project, the 10 winners share sh150m in addition to going for a learning trip to the Netherlands. The amount is divided in a way that sh50m goes to the overall winner, while the 1st and 2nd runners up get sh30m and sh20m, respectively and the remaining seven share equally the remaining sh50m.

The three additional winners in the special value addition category only get an agro study trip to the Netherlands.

Speaking on behalf of the judges, Augustine Mwendya noted that the Best Farmers competition is making significant contribution towards Uganda’s Vision of transforming subsistence farming to commercial agriculture

Representatives from the different sponsors of the Best Farmer competition, who included Koudijs, KLM Airlines, dfcu Bank, the Kingdom of the Netherlands represented by the Netherlands Ambassador to Uganda and Vision Group were present and among those who made brief speeches that confirmed their commitment to continue sponsoring the competitions.

The Netherlands ambassador to Uganda, Henk Jan Bakker, announced that his country will continue to support the competition for the next three years.

 ome of the guests at the fifth est armers awards Some of the guests at the fifth Best Farmers awards

 
“We must strive towards modernising the agricultural sector in Uganda to make it more efficient and effective, transforming it from substance to commercialized agriculture,” Henk said.

In the same vein, dfcu Bank Chief Change and Innovations Officer and Paul van Apeldoorn announced that the sh150m sponsorship from the bank will continue to flow into the project.

“The success of the Best Farmers competition is proof that farming can transform Uganda. Government needs to allocate more resources in the budget to professionalize farming,” Apeldoorn said.   

 ision roups ditornhief arbara aija with guests at the function Vision Group's Editor-In-Chief Barbara Kaija with guests at the function

 
In her speech, Lukia Otema the country director of KLM Airlines noted that the Airline is sponsoring the competitions not only because of making profits but also to build a sustainable society in Uganda.

Vision’s group’s chief executive officer, Robert Kabushenga noted that the Best Farmers competition have done a great deal in creating awareness of the country’s business potential in other countries particularly the Netherlands.

 ision roups obert abushenga addressing guests and est armers at ew ision offices Vision Group's Robert Kabushenga addressing guests and Best Farmers at New Vision offices

 
“Before the Best Farmers competitions, Uganda was nowhere in Africa among the countries where Dutch investors wanted to do business but it’s now number four in priority,” he said before thanking the Netherlands embassy for treating the previous groups of Best farmers in a special way while processing their visas.  

In her message, the editor in chief of Vision Group, Barbara Kaija, said one of the challenges farming in Uganda is facing today is how to attract youth and women into the sector as the current generation of farmers ages.

 est armers and guests being entertained by ance n eats ultural roupe Best Farmers and guests being entertained by Dance n’ Beats Cultural Troupe

 fcus managing director athias atamba centre with est armer winners oses iptala secondleft and incent jok secondright Dfcu's managing director Mathias Katamba (centre) with Best Farmer winners Moses Kiptala (second-left) and Vincent Ojok (second-right)

 est armer winners oice can second left and aridah utale secondright with s country manager ukia tema centre Best Farmer winners Joice Acan (second left) and Faridah Lutale (second-right) with KLM's country manager Lukia Otema (centre)

 

 abushenga centre taking a selfie with est armer winner r atrick sekimpi Kabushenga (centre) taking a selfie with Best Farmer winner Dr Patrick Ssekimpi

 

 est armer winners ohns uhombe amugisha left bel iddu thirdleft and avid amai right Best Farmer winners Johns Ruhombe Kamugisha (left), Abel Kiddu (third-left) and David Wamai (right)

  

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