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Co-operatives To Feature In 2024 Best Farmers Competition

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Joshua Kato

Josephat Byaruhanga, the agriculture policy officer at the Embassy of the Netherlands, who is also the team leader of the best farmers whenever they visit the Netherlands, said one of the aspects affecting Ugandan agriculture is the lack of co-operation.

He said this during the launch of the 2024 Bests Farmers Competition at Sight Farm Namulonge on Friday, April 11.

“When the best farmers travel to the Netherlands, one of the most important lessons they pick is that Dutch farmers thrive through co-operatives,” Byaruhanga said, adding that co-operatives help ease most of the challenges that farmers grapple with.

The challenges include access to affordable and genuine farm inputs, lower-interest financing, bulk marketing, access to extension services, etc.

It is against this background that co-operatives as a special category will feature in this year’s competition.

Uganda has over 12,000 active agriculture co-operatives/ associations countrywide, the agriculture ministry officials said.

Some are single enterprise co-operatives for example coffee, maize, dairy, and potatoes while others are multi-enterprise groups.

Aspects of targeted co-operatives

  • The profiled union/co-operative must have clear evidence of verifiable members’ lists.
  • A clear farmer-led leadership chain must clearly show how it is working to alleviate common farmers’ challenges including access to farm inputs, markets, post-harvest handling, financing, etc.
  • Help farmers access financial support.
  • Help farmers with packaging/branding.
  • Access to genuine farm inputs.
  • Access to low-interest financing.
  • Access to better storage facilities and processing.
  • Bulk marketing hence ensuring better income.

For nominations, send names to jkato@newvision.co.ug; WhatsApp: 0789353585

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