Budaka. Idudi Rice Farmers Cooperative Society has received an assortment of farm equipment, worth millions of shillings, from South to South Cooperation (SSC) a Chinese organisation.
The donation was handed over to the cooperative by Budaka Chairperson Sam Mulomi at the district headquarters.
The equipment comprised a walking tractor, a rice huller, a mold plough, a water pump, and engine oil.
The donation also included four bags of NPK, four bags of DAP fertilizer, another four bags of Urea and three bags of upland rice, as well as seed-planting machines and harvesters.
The South to South Cooperation (SSC) is a Chinese organisation working with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF).
Idudi Farmers’ Cooperative Society was identified as one of the best organised and outstanding associations among dozens in the district.
Idudi Rice Farmers Cooperative was started in 2014 and has 750 registered members.
Mulomi urged the farmers to maintain the equipment in order to reap more from it. “You can only benefit from all these equipment and agricultural machinery if you establish an effective strategy of looking after them,” he said.
Mulomi also urged the office of the Chief Administrative Officer to ensure that the persons identified by the cooperative society to train as operators of the walking tractor and the rice huller are given adequate training so they are not mishandled.
Going forward, he said the farmers should not sit on the laurels and instead pick up from where they have reached to work harder in order to benefit from similar programs in the future.
Andrew Mulekwa, the district commercial officer, encouraged the farmers to save and reinvest so as to grow their society.
“Savings attitude is key for all of you as cooperative members so that you realise progress individually and collectively,” Mulekwa said.
Albert Kirya, a member of Idudi Rice Farmers Cooperative, said the donation would ease the management of their farms and also help them cut the cost of hiring expensive farm labour during planting, weeding and harvesting periods.
South to South Cooperation Project Phase II was a fall in the project following the successful implementation of the first phase in the country. Phase 1 was implemented in 2014 and phase II started in January 2016 to December 2017.
The project was nationally hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and was funded by the Chinese Government under Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) arrangements with counterpart funding by the government of Uganda.
Budaka District extension staff together with farmer’s representatives from sub-counties of Nasanga, Budaka Town Council, Budaka Sub County, Naboa Town Council, and Kamonkoli Town Council participated in a number of training and field demonstrations.