2 Heifers from NAADS Transform Women’s group in Lira
Members of Omito Women’s group in Lira district did not to wallow into self-pity and regret as most women do. The 15 women who make up the group have envisaged opportunities in the moments of difficulty by channeling their energies into farming.
For the last 10 years, they engaged in bulking of agricultural produce and it was the savings and loaning out of funds to group members that brought them together. They are located at Anywalonino village, Omito ward in Adyel division.
According to their chairperson 30-year-old Evelyne Agalo, in 2016, the group took a bold decision to start an income generating activity. That is how they approached the implementers of NAADS for the much needed support.
Upon construction of a housing unit for the heifers, two in-calf heifers were delivered to them from NAADS.
Currently, we get about 20 litres of milk from the two heifers and we think it is far way below what farmers from western Uganda get from their heifers.
The good news however, is the fact that there is ready market for their milk. With a litre costing between sh1,500 to sh2,000, our consistent customers are corporate companies within Lira Municipality.
As one of the strategies to increase on milk production, our plan is to acquire a bigger portion of land outside the municipality to plant high nutritious fodder to feed on their heifers and increase on the number of heifers. We want the heifers to give us more milk, we have the desire and will to be model dairy farmers.
On top of selling milk, we also sell manure to farmers within the district and a small truck costs about sh70,000. In a year, we earn about sh1m from cow dung alone.
Using the income from milk sales, the women have provided employment to a one Kenneth Tia, an orphan who dropped out of school while in senior two. They want him to use the monthly earnings to go to a vocational institute and pursue a hands on course.
Their biggest challenge is the existence of resistant acaricides to the ticks and their failure to conduct artificial insemination at the right time.
Their future plans include buying high quality breeds from western Uganda and planting high value fodder to improve on the heifer’s milk outputs.
Government through NAADS invests additional sh3.5 billion for the completion of Yumbe Mango Processing Factory
Government through the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) has commenced the second phase of the construction works at Yumbe mango processing factory in Yumbe district with plans to start production in 2022.
The second phase of construction includes external works (fencing of the facility and paving and landscaping of the compound). During the phase, government will also construct the raw materials sorting store, the Packaging store, the Guard house and the weighbridge.
The NAADS Value Chain Development Officer coordinating the construction of the factory Eng. Michael Shuwu, says the second phase of construction is expected to take eight months from November 2021 and thereafter the factory is expected to start production.
“With the completion of the external works during the second phase, the factory will be in position to begin production, mainly producing pulp from local mangoes”, explained Eng. Shuwu.
NAADS has contracted a construction company to finalize the external works of the factory which are expected to be completed in July 2022.
Yumbe Mango Processing factory is a value addition initiative by the Government of Uganda through NAADS in partnership with Food and Nutrition Solutions Ltd (FONUS), Aringa Mango Farmers’ Cooperative Society and Uganda Development Corporation (UDC).
The project is a fulfilment of the H.E the President’s pledge he made during the West Nile Centenary celebrations to support Food and Nutrition Solutions Ltd (FONUS) (a company started by Makerere University Professors in Food Science) to complete the project. FONUS are the vision bearers of the value addition initiative.
The 5 metric ton per hour factory is designed based on the local mangoes grown in the West Nile region and a ready market for the farmers. The establishment of the factory is intended to diminish the hefty post-harvest losses and to the exploitation of farmers by the middlemen who buy the mangoes cheaply.
Upon commencement of production, UDC will ensure smooth commercial operations and management of the fruit factory in collaboration with FONUS, and Aringa Fruit Farmers’ Cooperative Society Ltd as well as to oversee the smooth transition of Government’s stake (divestiture period and process) in the project to private sector.
In 2019, Government through NAADS signed an MOU committing to contribute the resources for the establishment of the factory, provide production and productivity enhancing technologies such as seedlings, and other technologies to the target farmers, contract service providers for the establishment of the mango processing factory. NAADS also committed to supervise and monitor the project and oversee the transition of Government’s stake in the project to the Farmers.
Another partner FONUS will offer technological expertise for value addition to mangoes, identify and provide advice on appropriate technologies, avail the required land for setting up the mango processing plant; and contribute resources for the establishment and operationalization for the factory. FONUS will also initiate the creation of a subsidiary company that will take care of the project and in which the farmers will hold shares equivalent to the GOU investment.
The Executive Director NAADS Dr. Samuel Mugasi says 90% of the works in phase one have been completed with the processing equipment fully installed and tested, and main factory building completed. Government has so far injected over UGX 10 billion in this project which is expected to start production in 2022.
Farmers Receive over 3 million Fish Fingerings from NAADS
It was enthusiasm and excitement as sixty (60) fish farmers in Luuka district received 150,000 species of African cat fish fingerlings from Government through NAADS to boost their farming activities.
The 150,000 fingerings are part of the bigger consignment of 3,925,400 fish fingerings of Mirror Carp, African Cat fish and Tilapia that Government though NAADS distributed to farmers across the country as one of the initiatives to boost fish production.
The initiative is also one of the ways of providing alternative sources of fish to meet the increasing demand resulting from the recent increase in population and high upshot of fish processing plants for export. In the recent years, Uganda’s natural fish stocks had dwindled to alarming levels.
More than 100 districts benefited from the initiative. In Luuka district, the 60 fish farmers who were selected from different villages converged at Luuka district headquarters to receive fish fingerlings from NAADS secretariat under Operation Wealth Creation
The farmers were first trained on how to handle the species and producing food for them by the Luuka district fisheries officer Richard Tamukedde.
The fish fingerlings supplied by Aquafarm consults ltd were handed over to the beneficiaries by the district RDC Lillian Nakaweesi.
Speaking to the farmers, Nakaweesi urged them to take good care of the species to improve on their house hold incomes since fish has a good market within the distroct and the neighbouring areas.
David Muhanuzi from Aquafarm confirmed that the fingerlings worth shillings 57 million are of good breed and can mature within 7 months to 2 kilograms if well fed.
The Luuka district speaker Ronald Bikumbi who represented the LC5 chairperson welcomed the support from Government and said it will boost farmers’ income and revenue to the district.
The farmers led by their chairperson Ramathan Ibulamwandu hailed government for the support that will boost their income but however cried over high theft rate which they asked government for protection.
The Luuka district operation wealth creation coordinator col. Godfrey Kakoma promised to train people in security skills to protect their ponds from thieves.
NAADS also offered the farmers with starter up feeds for the fish fingerings which included starter powder and starter pellets.