KAMPALA, UGANDA – 2nd December 2022: Hon Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries rallied the country to embrace modern agriculture and applauded ‘the Best Farmers’.
He made the remarks while presiding over the ‘Best Farmers Awards 2022’ ceremony organized by New Vision Group, dfcu Bank, The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Koudjis Animal Nutrition and KLM.
He said: “Farmers rarely attract attention or public celebrations and recognition; they are always away from the limelight busy in their gardens. What they do there many don’t recognize is a job.”
“This function is proof that farming is a paying job and farming is a business. These farmers here have created jobs for themselves and others. They offer both direct employment on the farm and indirect for those who deal in the farm produce. Suppliers of farmer inputs are also doing business because of what the farmers are doing. The multiplication effect of farming is wide, making farming a job that pays and a good business,” he added, noting that the President is on a mission to see more farmers transit from subsistence to commercial farming to provide people with an income-generating project to fight poverty.
Since its inception in 2014, with exception of 2021 dues to covid-19 related challenges, the Best Farmer’s competition has positively impacted the agricultural sector including the adoption of advanced technology, improved access to genuine farm in-puts, knowledge exchange and transfer, market expansion: local, regional and international.
For the last seven years, 95 winners have been crowned and 59 toured the Netherlands to learn and exchange experiences. This year’s competition featured winners between 2014 and 2018. Of the 59 farmers, 41 took part in the competition. The 10 selected winners won cash prizes with the top best taking home Ushs 50 million, the second Ushs 30 million, the third Ushs 20 million, while the rest will share Ushs 50million.
Two overall winners; Jonson Basagwa and Colonel Dick Bujingo were recognized and awarded by the Guest of Honor and Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Hon. Frank Tumwebaze.
In his address at the award ceremony, Mathias Katamba dfcu Bank’s Chief Executive Officer reaffirmed the Bank’s commitment to the initiative and applauded the farmers for leading by example.
He said: “Through the best farmers’ initiative, you get to learn about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Today, agriculture is no longer for retirement or a hobby for the elderly and rural population. It is now a full-time job for many Ugandans, including the youth who are earning from different parts of the value chain.”
“Through this competition, we are handing Ugandans the necessary tools, experience, and exposure to improve their lives, their communities and their country. With such lessons, you will be able to add value to farming and create more jobs and more revenue both for yourselves and our Country. As dfcu Bank, we are dedicated to improving the livelihoods of Ugandans and this initiative allows us to do exactly that. We couldn’t have had better partners to walk with on this journey,” he concluded.