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Postcard from Uganda: Farmers making the most of Expo opportunities

17 July 2013

Postcard from Uganda: Farmers making the most of Expo opportunities

Photo: Farmers selling their produce at the expo

By Sizarina Hamisi, Farm Africa’s Communications Officer in Uganda

I recently travelled to the annual Agricultural Expo at Masindi district in Uganda. The Expo is a two day event organised by the Eastern Africa Grain Council which showcases a wide range of innovative products and services for farmers, as well as providing them with marketing opportunities, and a chance to network with other farmers.

Farm Africa has a variety of projects in this part of Uganda, and I was hoping to meet a few of the farmers from these projects. Many had travelled a long way to attend the Expo. As I watched them arrive, armed with crops, livestock and machinery, I could not help but admire their zeal and enthusiasm for the opportunities the event provides.

Meeting Farm Africa farmers

Among the farmers I meet is Stephen Ssekalagala, a rice farmer at Nakaseeke District. He is at the Expo to explore new markets for his rice and also explore new technologies such as farm machinery and better quality seeds to improve his yields.

Stephen’s rice farming has already benefitted greatly from a rice planting machine he has been provided by Farm Africa. This simple piece of technology halves the time it takes to plant his rice. He now takes two hours to plant one acre of rice, while before when he was planting manually, it used to take more than 4 hours.

“I was provided this planting tool to help me planting. Before, I was using many hours in the planting, but now I use less hours and I prepare a larger portion of land,” says Stephen.

Stephen with a rice planting machine

Photo: Stephen with a rice planting machine

Groundnuts for sale

Another farmer I meet at the Expo is Joyce Sekyanzi who is from the Akutwala Ekiro Kabusinde farmers’ group which is supported by Farm Africa. She came with two sacks of groundnuts for sale. She sold the produce at the exhibition and will use the money to buy school uniforms for her children.

“My participation in the exhibition has given me insight into how to market my produce. I now know where I shall get better prices for my groundnuts” says Joyce.

Read more about our work in Uganda