Masindi youth join hands to improve farming, visit 30 year old Atuhura’s 20 acre farm

Youth in Masindi have toured Sunrise Inspirational farm which in Kijumbura village, Pakanyi sub county, about 20kms from Masindi town. The farm, which sits on approximately 20 acres, belongs to 30 year old Ramadhan Atuhura who deals majorly in bananas, coffee, rice, poultry, goat rearing and horticulture.

Atuhura is a member of an association dubbed “Farmers Talk Uganda” (FTU) which comprises over 140 farmers countrywide. FTU was formed about two years ago.

The farmers frequently visit each other’s farms to share knowledge and guidance on how to improve their yields and become better farmers who can target bigger markets.

While visiting Atuhura’s farm, Charles Rwebembera, the chairperson and proprietor of FTU advised the youth to interest themselves in crops and enterprises whose value does not diminish.

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“If you decide to venture in crops like bananas for commercial production, carry out research and invest in improved varieties that will give you value for the money invested. Do land economics and ensure it is utilized fully because land is scarce,” Rwebembera said.

Frederick Isingoma, a member of FTU who deals in coffee and banana growing said, “A kilogram of coffee is always above shs 4000. Some youth opt for crops with quick yields such as maize but they also suffer from very low prices in return. Most of our parents supported us in school using proceeds from coffee.”

Ramadhan Atuhura cleans his nursery bed as other farmers look on. Atuhura practices mixed farming including bananas, horticulture, poultry and grazing. Photo by Priscillar Nyamahunge

Isingoma advised farmers to apply modern farming techniques such as applying manure to cash crops so as to get better yields.

Stanley Wandera, a farmer and chairperson of Gukwatamanzi Cooperative Society, said most youth undermine farming equating it to an enterprise practiced by illiterates.

“Some graduates have ancestral land which is lying idle in their villages but they do not think of investing in agriculture. Some only depend on begging from their parents. Such a mentality should be fought against,” Wandera said.

Ronald Tumuhaise, who was part of the visiting youth said most times many youth are discouraged because of the intensive time needed to invest in agriculture and some opt for enterprises that require less attention.

James Wamani said most youth lack financial literacy and lack basic knowledge about the advantages of investing in cash crop production.

Meanwhile, Atuhura said he plans to invest in value addition with a focus on wine production which will help him tap more income.

“I have mobilised and created a cluster of farmers who are now growing bananas. I sell to them suckers at a reduced price of sh1500 instead of sh2000 and also train them in good agronomic practices. I am sure that those farmers will contribute towards my wine production with supplies as they also uplift themselves,” Atuhura said.

The post Masindi youth join hands to improve farming, visit 30 year old Atuhura’s 20 acre farm appeared first on The Cooperator News.

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