By Joshua Kato
A series of hands on trainings have been organised at the 2023 Harvest Money 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 post-harvest 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 12.
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 Naluyima, in addition to keeping pigs, 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.
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.
Also on Friday morning (February 10), 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.