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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 travelled recently to the Agricultural Expo in the Masindi district of Uganda. The annual two day Expo, organized by the Eastern Africa Grain Council, provides a showcase for a wide veriety of innovative products and services for farmers. It also provides farmers with marketing opportunities and a chance to network with other farmers.

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

Meeting Farm Africa farmers

Stephen Ssekalagala, a rice farmer at Nakaseeke District, was among those I met. He had come to the Expo looking to explore new markets for his rice as well looking for farm machinery and better quality seeds that could help him improve his yields.

Stephen has already benefitted greatly from a simple rice planting machine provided by Farm Africa, which halves the time it takes him to plant his rice. It now takes him two hours to plant one acre of rice, instead of more than 4 hours that it used to take planting rice manually.

“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

I also met Joyce Sekyanzi from Farm Africa's Akutwala Ekiro Kabusinde farmers’ group. Joyce came with two sacks of groundnuts, which she sold at the Expo. She will use the income 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