President Museveni has said Uganda will attain the much desired middle income status if farmers around the country adopt modern farming practices like agricultural mechanization.
Museveni made the remarks on Tuesday in a speech delivered for him by the State Minister for Agriculture in charge of Animal Husbandry, Joy Kabatsi during the opening of the first ever annual machine exhibition at Lugogo .
“One of the most important sectors that impacts on the daily livelihood of Ugandans is agriculture but majority engage in subsistence production There is need to change the mindset of Ugandans so they can adopt commercial farming and this can only be done through mechanization of agriculture,”Museveni said in a speech delivered by Minister Kabatsi.
The President argued that modern life is driven by profit-making and that in agriculture, it can only be achieved through use of modern technology that not only ensures high yields but also saves time.
“There should be deliberate efforts to demonstrate to the 60 percent population that is involved in subsistence farming that commercial agriculture is the way to go. If the population can easily appreciate agriculture mechanization and the role of commercial agriculture, they can easily integrate.”
Museveni applauded the organisers of the annual machine exhibition for being foresighted, a thing that he says reasons well with government’s efforts to ensure agriculture mechanization.
According to Promote Uganda Limited Director, David Nsubuga despite a few machines being expensive, they can easily be afforded if farmers come together as groups in which they can purchase them.
He, however, noted that some of them are affordable to individual farmers to use on their respective farms.
“In the past, the use of poor technology like the use of hand hoes was bringing low-quality outputs but farmers can now use machines for production. Many farmers have been using manual labour but this is declining because youths who were involved in provision of labour are now running to towns to venture into the boda boda industry,”Nsubuga said.
“These machines can be purchased to be used by farmers themselves without hiring people to do the work for them.”
Nsubuga said that farmers can also come together in groups and get assistance from government to buy some of the expensive equipment that can be used to benefit a big number of people.
The annual machine exhibition running from November 12 to 16 at the UMA showground at Lugogo will showcase various equipment that can be applied in the agriculture value chain
According to organisers, the exhibition is meant to make farmers aware of the equipment they would use on their farms but also where and what price to get them.