The Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempija has appealed to farmers in Rwenzori sub region to embrace agricultural mechanisation as one of improving production.
He emphasised that mechanisation will not only boost production but also improve on the quality of agricultural products. “Government is emphasising mechanisation of agriculture to improve on quality and production.
This is the reason why we partnered with National Agriculture Advisory Services to give out tractors to farmer groups” Ssempija said.
Speaking at the Rwenzori Investment Expo at Mountains of the Moon University in Fort Portal town on Thursday, Ssempija revealed that government plans to establish regional mechanisation centres across the country to offer technical assistance to farmer groups.
Under the theme, “Investment for local economic development,” the Rwenzori Expo, was organised by Operations Wealth Creation (OWC) in conjunction with Uganda Investment Authority (UAI) among other stakeholders. The expo was meant to showcase investment opportunities in the Rwenzori sub region.
Gen. Salim Saleh, the Chief Coordinator OWC in his speech read for him by his deputy Lt Gen. Charles Angina noted an improvement in agricultural production in the country due to government initiatives.
“Generally, the agricultural sector has registered improved growth rates over the last four years averaging 3.0 percent per annum. The performance across the prioritized commodities has been generally good with significant improvements observed in key strategic and food security commodities” Saleh said.
He said the expo will go a long way in opening up Rwenzori sub region for investment. “As you may all already know, this region has significant investment opportunities in agriculture, tourism, mining etc. This expo will trigger investment in the region by attracting both local and international investors by providing a forum private investors, local governments, central government and other development partners to network” he said.
Emmanuel Mutungi, the chairman Kyegegwa Fruit Farmers Association said the expo offered him an opportunity to learn from fellow farmers. “I have interacted with other farmers, shared knowledge, experiences and challenges which may help us [the association] in our daily farming activities” Mutungi said.
Kyegegwa Fruit Farmers Association is one of the groups that received a tractor to boost their production. The association grows and makes juice from watermelons, mangoes, pineapples among others. Since 2014, Operation Wealth Creation has been instrumental in supporting farmers with seeds and other farm inputs to boost production.