Over 4700 farmers in Tororo are harvesting the benefits of practicing modern faming technologies as well as collective farming. The farmers, under various Farmers Based Organizations (FBO) in Tororo say that they are now harvesting increased crop yields from their farms.
According to Aterensio Otwani, the Chairperson Nyalakot Farmers Group, one of the 156 FBOs in Tororo, the farmers are now using modern farming technologies that has led to increased and quality crop yields.
The farmers group located in Osukuru Sub county, Tororo district, has 35 acres of maize, rice, soybeans and groundnuts collectively. “We now know how to space our seedlings while planting, how to spray and best post-harvest handling to prevent aflatoxin contamination,” notes Otwani.
Sasakawa Global 2000, a farmer support organisation working with government to improve farming practices has been training the farmers on best farming practices. According to Rosette Kemigisha Ngingo,a program officer with Sasakawa, the organization has trained 15,000 farmers across 9 districts (Bugiri, Lira, Paalisa, Buikwe, Luwero, Kamwenge, Kamuli and Tororo) in the country on developing strong and viable farmers groups.
According to Jacinta Obbo, one of the farmer member of the Nyalakot Farmers Group, the training that they have been receiving from Sasakawa has enabled them expand their farming activities resulting into increased harvests thereby enabling her to earn more income.
“I have educated my children through farming,” notes Obbo “I used to get one bag of maize from an acre of maize plantation, now I usually get between 16-20 bags from the same acre, I have learnt how to save and buy inputs like fertilizers and spray pumps which has helped me improve my crop yields.”
The agricultural sector in Uganda contributes to 30% of GDP and is the backbone of Uganda’s industrial activity, employment, household incomes and food security. However, majority of farmers are small holder farmers. Mr Kaloli Ijara, the Sasakawa district coordinator noted that the farmers are embracing large commercial faming which has improved their livelihoods.
“Our farmers in the past did not know how to practice large commercial farming, they used to practice mixed farming, intercropping all the crops, notes Kaloli “The harvest would be poor and in the process the soil would deteriorate, now, we practice modern farming technologies that has improved our yields.”
Maize, rice, groundnuts and Soya are some of the crops that the various farmer’s groups in Tororo for domestic consumption as well as export to neighboring markets in Kenya.