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Best Farmers Is A Transformation Project — Minister Oryem

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Herbert Musoke and Joshua Kato     

The best farmers competition is not just a project under the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, but a stepping stone to the development and transformation of agriculture in Uganda.

This is how the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem described this national programme. 

Okello was speaking during the commemoration of King’s Day, which is the national day of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. 

Using an example of one of the previous winners in the competition, Okello said; “The first time I visited this farmer he was just keeping animals but after winning the best farmer competitions and visiting the Netherlands, he has now transformed himself and other farmers with improved breeding, higher milk production and selling better milking heifers,” he said.

Okello was speaking as Chief Guest during the birth-day celebrations of Willem Alexander the King of the Netherlands. 

He applauded the contribution of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands to the development and transformation of Uganda through the different projects that have changed the living conditions of Ugandans.

Dr Karin Boven, the Netherlands Ambassador in Uganda (right on front row) pose for a group photo with the embassy staff and other guests during the birth-day cerebrations of King Willem Alexander. Photos by Herbert Musoke

“The best farmer competitions as one of the projects funded by the Netherlands, show how the relationship between Uganda and the Netherlands has contributed to building a strong work relationship between the two countries,” he said. 

In addition to the Embassy of the Netherlands, other sponsors of the best farmers include dfcu Bank, KLM Airlines and Koudjis Nutrition BV – all Dutch-related companies. 

Okello added that no doubt that this occasion is significant in the history of the kingdom of the Netherlands, as a reminder of the power of culture, heritage, social interaction and traditions.

“We join the people of the Netherlands in celebrating this rich history and its cherished source of fun among the Dutch community around the world. It is also a day to recognize the Dutch monarch as a pillar of National Unity,” he said.

The function, held at the Ambassador’s residence was graced by hundreds of Dutch nationals living in Uganda, plus other Ugandan guests including Vision Group CEO Don Wanyama and FAO Country Representative Dr Antonio Querido. 

Oryem pointed out that Uganda and the Netherlands enjoy cordial relations at bilateral and multilateral levels. 

Some of the guests having fun during the birth-day cerebrations of King Willem Alexander.

He noted that the Dutch policy for foreign trade and development cooperation (2022-2026) focuses on fitting development cooperation to Uganda’s third National Development Plan (NDP III) and Vision 2040.

According to Oryem, the engagement of the two countries in development cooperation has been very important to Uganda in the fields of food and nutrition security, rule of law, sexual reproductive health and rights; migration and private sector development.

“We look forward to continued cooperation, including in new areas of mutual interest. We also thank the Netherlands for its efforts to encourage Dutch companies to invest in developing countries, like Uganda and to promote industrialization and value addition,” he said.

Dr Karin Boven, the Netherlands Ambassador of the Netherlands in Uganda said that this event is organized to celebrate the life of King Willem Alexander, thank God for his life and the Netherlands as a whole but also pray that he continues protecting him, the queen, the princes and princesses.

“As we celebrate the King’s birthday, we want to share and showcase some of our traditions as the Dutch, including food like cheese. We also celebrate the good relations between the Netherlands and Uganda that present opportunities to both countries,” she said.

The birth of the King is also a celebration of the unity of the citizenry with all the Dutch dressed in orange colour which symbolizes unity. The function, held at the Ambassador`s residence was graced by hundreds of Dutch nationals living in Uganda, plus other Ugandan invited guests. 

LEAD PHOTO CAPTION: Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem making a toast with Dr Karin Boven, the Netherlands Ambassador in Uganda during the birth-day cerebrations of King Willem Alexander.

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