By Paul Tentena
DFCU Bank and other partners Vision Group, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Kingdom of the Netherlands and Koudijs have launched the 2023 Uganda Best Farmers Competition (Awards) aimed at rewarding best farmers and best farming practices throughout the country.
Açcording to Jude Kansiime, the DFCU Bank Head of Marketing, the Best farmers competition is held annually to celebrate farmers, showcase how farming is contributing to economic development and rally the public to embrace commercial farming.
“Last year’s edition focused on measuring the success of the Best Farmers after being named winners from the previous editions of 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 (There were 58 competitors).
“We hope this year, we shall have more farmers joining the race,” said Kansiime at One Acre Unlimited Farm located in Bwerenga, a farm owned by Ssalongo Washington Mugerwa and Betty Kasabiti Mbazira. Mbazira was the overall winner of the 2018 Best Farmers Awards.
“This alone is a testament to the success of this initiative.
“As you all know, agriculture is the backbone of Uganda’s economy, providing employment to millions of people and contributing significantly to the country’s GDP.
“Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for a majority of Ugandans, with more than 70% of the population involved in some form of farming.
“The sector contributes over 20% of the country’s GDP and is a significant source of foreign exchange earnings through the export of coffee, tea, cotton, and other agricultural commodities,” noted Kansiime.
He said Agriculture has the potential for growth.
“Despite the challenges facing the sector, such as climate change and poor infrastructure, inadequate financing and limited access to markets, there is significant potential for growth in Uganda’s agriculture.
“With the right investments in technology, research, and infrastructure, farmers can increase their productivity and output,” added Kansiime.
The Best Farmers Competition, organised by Vision Group, is an initiative aimed at recognizing and promoting excellence in farming practices.
It is designed to showcase the best practices, innovations, and technologies in agriculture, and to encourage more farmers to adopt these practices.
The Best Farmers Competition is a continuation of efforts to support the agricultural sector. By recognizing and rewarding excellence in farming practices.
It is aimed at encouraging more farmers to adopt these practices, leading to increased productivity, improved quality, and better prices for their produce.
Don Wanyama the Vision Group Chief Executive Officer said the Best Farmers competition has been running for the last eight years.
Now in its Ninth year, they have so far rewarded 95 best farmers from across the country.
“This year (2023), we are once again focusing on all farmers,” said Wanyama.
He said the Best Famers competition has offered big financial rewards now at USh1.2b given out as cash prize to farmers, and all of them have used it to acquire equipment to improve their farms.