Farmers Should Shift From Substance Farming To Commercial Farming – Mwendya

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Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNFFE) has today started their 26 th Source of the Nile annual
National Agricultural Show in Jinja to last for ten days. Redpepper’s Joshua Besigye caught up with
Augustine Mwendya, the UNFFE Chief Executive Officer and he had this to say about the event.
Tell us about this agricultural show that you are organizing in Jinja.
The National Agricultural show is an agricultural event organized by the Uganda National
Farmers’ Federation to encourage farmers to exhibit their produce and open them to market,
training, new and better methods of farming among others. This year, the show will start from
13 th July and end on 22 nd July, 2018 at the Source of the Nile Jinja show grounds in the heart
of Jinja town. The show will start from 9 o’clock in the morning and end at 5 o’clock in the
evening each day and the show goers will be required to pay just a small fee on entrance.
Entrace fee is UGX 5000/- for adults and UGX 3000/- for the children.
What is the theme for this year’s show?
The theme this year is; “Fostering Agricultural Value Chains Innovations for Farmer Led
Food Security, Household Income and Job Creation.” The key worg here is Value Chains.
We are trying to encourage farmers shift from substance farming to commercial farming so
that instead of just producing to consume with too little surplus to sell, they aim and plant in
big quantities so that they can sell and improve on their family income. Unlike in the past
where only one value chain was considered, this year, all value chain actors will be
implemented to enable farmers shift from subsistence farming to commercial farming. This
will enable them sell their produce instead of just producing some little surplus to sale, they
aim and plan to produce in big quantities so as to improve on their house hold income.
Last year’s show tested massive success, thanks to the efforts! How different is the show
this year and what should we expect?
Expect it to be better than last year’s. In the past, there have been only demonstrations and
exhibitions by farmers. This year, training has been organized to enable show-goers who
need more knowledge on specific enterprises to get it so that they can commercialize their
farming. Farmers will be trained in; piggery production, banana production, coffee
production, pineapple production and others. The training is scheduled to begin on Monday,
16 th July. Secondly, this year there will be debates for school going children and students in
primary, secondary and tertiary institutions at the start of the show under the show theme.
These debates will improve the participants’ knowledge in modern agricultural methods. This
time round, pet traders will not be allowed at the show ground because past shows have been
full of pet traders who bring on the show ground second hand clothes, shoes, sweets, toys and
others which are not at all related to agriculture. Noise from the discos will also not be
allowed; with all that loud music the exhibitors could not explain anything to the show goers.
Those interested in music can start after the training sessions in the evening.

What are your expectations for this show?
We hope for the success of the show. We expect the President of the Republic of Uganda,
H.E Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to officially open the show next week on Tuesday. We
expect different Ministers and government officials. Then, we are also expecting other
exhibitors from other countries in Africa, we have invited our colleagues who normally come
to exhibit, from Rwanda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe we have actually written to these
organizations from different countries to join us at this show so that our people will have a lot
of technologies to look at. I encourage all people all over Uganda interested in farming to
come and enrich your knowledge with the new innovations, technologies and the best
practices on modern fish farming, mushroom production, modern affordable irrigation,
piggery, post-harvest handling, pumpkin, coffee, and poultry among others.

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