By Simon Ssekidde
The government of the republic of South Korea through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) have injected $12m into the National Farmer’s Leadership Center, located in Kampiringisa, Mpigi district.
The funds will go towards improving the institution under the new projected dubbed ‘Institutional capacity support’ which will enable the center give quality and efficient training to the trainees.
John Bosco Okwaja, the principal of the National Farmer’s Leadership Center, said KOICA grant will help to uplift the quality of infrastructure at the center, renovation of training facilities, and also construction of a modern accommodation facility.
“Under this new project, KOICA is supporting us to build a modern training facility which will accommodate over 300 trainees, in addition to the modern accommodation facility, renovation of the piggery and poultry unit,” Okwaja said.
He added that once the facilities are complete, the center will be in position to invite as many groups of people as possible to receive training in modern agriculture and mindset change.
“Mindset change is one of the strong pillars in the Parish Development Model (PDM), we hope when the facilities are complete, we shall be in position to train as many groups of people as possible to support the government programme of PDM,” Okwaja added.
The National Farmer’s Leadership Center (NFLC) was establish by the government of the republic of South Korea through KOICA, together with the Ugandan government to provide training in mindset change, modern agriculture skills and establishment of sustainable model farms.
David Buule, the agricultural rural development officer attached to the National Farmer’s Leadership Center, said they have so far finished training four groups of farmers from Muyira village, Kammengo sub-county, under this project.
According to Buule, 11 groups from Kammengo sub-county, were selected as the first beneficiaries and so far four of them have already received training in mindset change and modern agriculture technologies, which will enable the farmers to grow food, not only for home consumption but all for commercial purposes.
“We started with training four groups of farmers from Muyira village and the main reason we are training them is to empower them match with government programmes like the PDM and the micro irrigation programme,” Buule said.
He noted that it is important to first train these farmer groups before they provide them with assistance.
“We are planning to start giving out inputs like piglets and agricultural inputs to these farmers. We intend to help them establish the farmer field schools in their locations which will act as the demonstration centers where other farmers on the village will come to learn,” Buule added.
He said soon, the farmer groups which have already received training will select the enterprise groups which will be matching with the government intervention already in place like the PDM and the microscale irrigation and the KOICA technical team will go ahead to support them.
Rachael Mutesi, a gender specialist, said they have considered the issue of gender main streaming as an important issue under this new project and all groups have to consider including women in their associations to benefit from this help.
This new KOICA project, dubbed “Institutional capacity support to the national farmer’s leadership center”, will run for eight years, the republic of South Korea injected $12m, while the Ugandan government through the agriculture and finance ministries injected $2m.
According to Okwaja, the funds injected by government of Uganda shall go to purchasing of new land to allow the expansion of the institution, connecting the institution to the NITA-U internet and installation of other utilities like water and electricity.
Okwaja said the funding will help the institution become a center of excellence in the East and Central Africa hosting trainees from the countries in this region.