In 2015, President Museveni was pictured at a remote farm, pushing a bicycle with a jerrycan on, and later, using bottle irrigation to demonstrate what was termed by many as “remote farming” practices. Unfazed by a strong wavering spirit and in a bid to demonstrate the practicality and relevance of using the only available options, the President engaged common farming practices, armed in part, with patience of a leader, wisdom through experience and an unrelenting quest for mindset change.
A year later, and from only four acres, the President invited journalists to bear witness to his harvests-born out of bottle irrigation and commitment. What we learnt then, and what we see years later, is that it is doable.
On Friday, March 11, 2022, fifty four (54 ) women from Napore Women Enterprenuers in Karenga, Karamoja-
accompanied by their leaders -Rose Lilly Akello-woman MP Karenga and Batoon Ben,MP Dodoth West visited the farm to learn and acquire farming skills that they would use back home as change agents.
The farm had been set up as a demonstration farm for good farming practices in order to improve household incomes. For some, travelling out of Karamoja for the first time, the visit to Kawumu was a whole Agricultural experience.
Similar other farms have been set up in Mayuge-for the Eastern region, one in Arua and another in Gomba, near Kisozi.
Projects on Kawumu farm include fish ponds, diary, poultry, coffee, matooke, horticulture, rabbits among others.
After close to a 3 hour farm tour, the women expressed commitment to execute what they described as a total learning experience.
According to the chairperson of the group- Ms Auoma Rose Loluk,
Karenga, which was only recently elevated to a district status would benefit from the farm experience. She thanked Government for initiating different programs like the women and
youth livelihood program, rural electrification programs and others that have elevated the status of Karamoja.
The group requested for a tractor to generate more output and machinery for value addition of sunflower which is one of their major cash crops.
In her remarks to the group, the Vice President-Jessica Alupo who played host to the group urged them to focus on production,value addition and marketing of their products, and, utilize the skills learnt to perfect their Agricultural practices.
“If you practice what you’ve seen through proper enterprise selection, you will have strong yields and stronger economic impacts from produce for both consumption and for income,” she said, adding that this would contribute to the country’s export base. “The possibility to earn foreign exchange from your farm surplus is real, it is achievable”, she said.
Responding to remarks about insecurity amidst rising cases of cattle theft in the region, Alupo gave the re-assurance that the vice would be dealt with decisively. “You will plant, weed and harvest, because the Commander in Chief is dealing with the security question. Let’s rally the community to support him”, she added.
The Vice President also promised to get the group a tractor and machine for value addition to press sunflower and extract oil, as well as contribution to their SACCO.
Alupo re-echoed the President’s constant call for women’s financial independence and thanked him for his hands on approach in establishing the farm.
According to Charles Kalule, an Agriculturalist from State house, the farm continues to receive a high number of enthusiastic farms-all seeking to improve their practices.
Present at the farm visit was Usuk County-MP Bosco Okiror and the RDC- Luweero, Juliet Najjuma Senkoole.