By Gloria Nakiyimba
The Executive Director of NAADS Dr. Samuel Mugasi has urged farmers in Rwengaju sub county in Kabarole district to embrace working as a team to maximize the benefits from the support given to them by the government.
Speaking to the farmers, Dr. Mugasi said there is a need for leaders at all levels to invest in mind-set change and empower the people to drive their own transformation and become a model sub county that the president desires to see.
“We don’t want Ugandans to depend on Government to supply everything. Once government gives people start up packages and advisory information in from of extension services, they must steer their transformation as the local people”, explained Dr. Mugasi
Dr. Mugasi was on a monitoring visit to farming projects supported by the government of Uganda through NAADS and other government agencies in Rwengaju model sub county. The Rwengaju model sub county is a presidential initiative to transform the livelihoods of the people in this sub county through agriculture. Under this initiative, Government through NAADS has supported the farmers with agricultural inputs ranging from in-calf heifers, poultry, pigs, milk coolers, a feed mill, water for production and much more.
Members of Rwengaju model sub county headed by their chairperson Richard Nyakana informed the monitoring team from NAADS that the milk cooler that the farmers received from NAADS was underutilized and asked for better breeds of cows for increased milk production.Currently , the 2,000 litre milk cooler is collecting only 250 litres a day.
However, Dr. Mugasi challenged the farmers saying that the problem is not the breed of the cows but that the farmers are selling their milk individually instead of marketing collectively using the milk cooler. He urged them to work together and make sure they market their milk collectively as a group because that is when they will be able to negotiate better prices and get returns for their businesses.
He added that Government’s contribution is to facilitate farmers by giving them the required support like extension services, bring them the infrastructure like water, the milk coolers, feed mills and others. The actual work on the farm that includes increasing milk production, banana production on the farm, tilling the land, feeding the cows is their work to ensure they increase production and productivity.