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Expo Trainings To Focus On Post-harvest Handling, Value Addition

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By Joshua Kato

A series of hands on trainings have been organised at the 2023 expo. These will run from Friday, February 10 to Sunday February 12. Trainees will have to pay sh20, 000 to enter the Expo and also attend the trainings for a whole day. This is to give farmers the best agronomical practices and value addition tips throughout the production value chains of the different enterprises to equip farmers with knowledge on whatever they want to engage in.

Every session will have information on postharvest handling and value addition, however there are also several sessions that are specific on value addition, that have been organized in the evenings. The evening sessions will be free of charge.  

TRAININGS AND DATES

Friday, February 10-There will be 8 sessions on this day

Coffee/Value addition facilitated by Edward Lutakome and Joseph Nkandu. Lutakoome works with the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), the government agency responsible for coffee farming development and regulation, while Joseph Nkandu works with NUCAFE and is a re-known coffee farmer in Mpigi.

This will take place in the morning. It will take farmers through the value chain from cultivation to adding value to coffee beans. “We are the second leading producer of coffee in Africa and the leading exporter of coffee in Africa but we are still making a lot of losses due to poor harvesting handling Lutakoome says.  This is largely due to the fact that value addition is still very low. “Adding final consumer value through roasting will increase the number of local coffee consumers,” he says. The trainers will show the trainees the process of adding final consumer value to coffee.  This will be repeated on the morning of Sunday February 12th.

Pig keeping

The first session of Piggery/Value addition to be facilitated by Dr Emma Naluyima (Best Farmer 2014/22 and Dr  Esther Nakajubi a veterinary officer and researcher working with the National Genetics Resources Centre (NAGRC) and a large scale pig farmer, will also run in the morning. Dr Emma Naluyima, in addition to keeping pigs, Naluyima invested in a van she uses to sell pork directly to consumers. She will talk about the benefits of farmers selling their produce to consumers.  On the other hand, Nakajubi has got extensive experience in breeding pigs and management. This will be repeated on the afternoon of Sunday, February 12

Fish farming  

This will be conducted byVincent  Ssebutemba  a fish farmer in Nsangi, Masaka road and experts from National Agriculture Research Organisation (NARO). In addition to taking trainees through the basics of fish farming, they will show them how to add value to fish. “Smoked or salted fish has got big market in DRC and Southern Sudan, so it is important that farmers learn how to smoke or even process fish into products like sausages,” Ssebutemba says.  

Goat keeping

Also on Friday morning, this will be facilitated by Grace Bwogi and Edgar Muhumuza. Bwogi runs Bwogi farms in Kyotera which is famous for keeping goats. She is a hands on goat farmer who has garnered extensive knowledge locally and from countries like South Africa, Kenya etc.  Muhumuza will take trainees through hands on practices of managing goats. The session will be repeated again on Saturday afternoon.    

Passion Fruit

This will be facilitated by Bashir Mayiga (Best farmer 2016) Joseph Kiggundu. Mayiga says since passion fruit growing is one of the enterprises that one can easily venture into, those who will attend the training will be equipped with the A-Z on how to make profits from passion fruit farming. “We shall tell and show them why adding value to passion fruits drastically improves profits,” Mayiga says. In addition to selling fresh fruits, Mayiga also processes passion fruit juice.

Poultry

This will be conducted by Robert Sserwanga, Chris Magezi and Dr Samuel Ssewagudde, all of them are experts in the poultry sector trained in the Netherlands and other countries.  “Farmers are facing a lot of challenges that include diseases, high cost of feeds and markets. We shall discuss all these issues and show farmers how to navigate these challenges,” Sserwanga says. There will be a repeat on Sunday morning.

Bananas

This will also be conducted on Friday afternoon. The session will be conducted by a team from the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) and Washington Mugerwa, a banana farmer and researcher. In addition to the farming practices, trainees will be taken through the process of adding value to bananas. Among these include processing flour, juice, wines and articrafts.

Urban Farming

This will be conducted by Prof. Diana Nambatya Nsubuga and Harriet Nakabaale, both experienced urban farmers.

Prof. Nambatya explains that it is important for everyone to produce part of what they consume at home like spring onions, carrots, green pepper among others to minimize  household expenditures. Such crops can be grown in the courtyard as the trainers will elaborate on during the training. 

“There are ways through which urban farmers can add value to urban waste and earn more. We shall look at these ways in detail,” says Nambatya. 

Saturday- February 11

 Bee keeping

This willbe conducted by Steven Kunihira – (Mr Bees and Alice Kangave, a bee keeper and f Entomologist. The trainers will focus on general apiary management plus value addition on honey products. “There are so many products that are produced by bees. Bee venom is one of these and yet very few farmers in Uganda are harvesting it,” Kunihira says. They will also discuss proper postharvest handling of honey.

Rabbit keeping

Commercial rabbit keeping is one of the emerging enterprises in the country. However, few farmers have really grasped the right practices. This training will be handled by Muawiya Mukasa owner of Kalf farm in Kapeeka and Beatrice Luzobe a commercial rabbit farmer and owner of Learn Enterprises.“We shall handle breeding, management, marketing and value addition to rabbits,” says Luzobe.  

Mushroom farming

The other training on Saturday morning will be postharvest and value addition on Mushrooms byAbel Kiddu, who is one of the best farmers and the power house for mushroom growing in Uganda. He now makes wines, cosmetics and other powdered products that fetch more money for the farm.

 Vegetable farming and green housing

Vegetables are a staple must eat for most Ugandans. Many people spend a lot of money on buying vegetables from the market and yet they can grow them on their farms. Joseph Male-best farmer 2019, will show trainees how to grow vegetables. “I will look at growing vegetables in both small and large spaces and explain the input required for maximum profit,” he says.  

Zero Grazing/Dairy

This will be handled by Dr Jolly Kabirizi. Kabirizi is a retired livestock nutritionists who has worked with NARO/NaLIRRI for over 40years. Kabirizi has done extensive research on dairy cattle management. “I will focus on using innovative methods to reduce the cost of feeding cattle in an urban setting, including using market waste,” she says.

Keeping indigenous birds

This is another enterprise that Ugandans are adopting commercially. Keeping just 100 local birds can give you not only enough chicken meat for your family, but also eggs and chicken meat for sale. And yet, managing them is not as strenuous. This particular session on Saturday afternoon will be handled by Doris Najjuma Kairu,  an indigenous poultry keeper and trainer. “We shall not focus only on chicken, but also turkey and ducks,” she says.

Children`s training

The future of agriculture lies with children. Because of this, sessions to specifically train an interest children into farming. The sessions will be conducted by fellow pupils from MST, owned by Dr Emma Naluyima and Washington Mugerwa. These children are trained in farming from an early age and are as knowledgeable in their practices. 

This will take place between 11:30 and 1pm on Saturday. There will be a repeat of the trainings on Sunday. Entrance for children into these sessions is free as long as they paid at the gate.

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