Vision Group CEO Don Wanyama (Left) and representatives of sponsors and judges officially launching the best farmers competition 2023
Dfcu bank recognizes the role the agricultural sector plays in Uganda and is committed to supporting farmers with a range of financial products and services.
Jude Kansiime, the Head of Marketing at dfcu bank made the remarks during the launch of Best Farmers Competition 2023 organized by Vision Group. The launch took place on Tuesday, March 14, 2023 at One Acre Unlimited Farm, Bwerenga, a mixed farm founded by Dr Emma Naluyima and her husband Ssalongo Washington Mugerwa. Dfcu bank is one of the main sponsors of best farmers competition. Other partners are The Netherlands Embassy in Uganda, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Koudijs B.V Nutrition.
“At dfcu Bank, we are committed to supporting the agricultural sector in Uganda. We understand the importance of agriculture to the country’s economic development and the role that farmers play in feeding the nation. That is why we have designed a range of financial products and services specifically for farmers, to help them grow their businesses and increase their productivity,” Kansiime said.
He noted that agriculture is the backbone of Uganda’s economy, providing employment to millions of people and contributing significantly to the country’s GDP.
Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for a majority of Ugandans, with more than 70% of the population involved in some form of farming.
“The sector contributes over 20% of the country’s GDP and is a significant source of foreign exchange earnings through the export of coffee, tea, cotton, and other agricultural commodities,” he said.
He added that agriculture has the potential for growth despite the challenges facing the sector such as climate change and poor infrastructure, inadequate financing, poor infrastructure, and limited access to markets, there is significant potential for growth in Ugandan agriculture.
“With the right investments in technology, research, and infrastructure, farmers can increase their productivity and output,” he said.
Dfcu bank believes that this competition will not only benefit individual farmers, but also the agricultural sector as a whole.
“By showcasing the best practices and technologies in agriculture, we hope to promote innovation, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among farmers, researchers, and other stakeholders,” Kansiime said.
Don Wanyama, the Chief Executive Officer at Vision Group, noted that the Best Farmers competition offers big financial rewards to farmers.
“Since inception (of the competition), Shs1.2bn has been given out as cash prize to farmers, and all of them have used it to acquire equipment to improve their farms,” Wanyama said, adding that this year (2023), the awards are once again focusing on all farmers.
“We have already received tens of nominations, and we assure them of a transparent process,” he said.
The Best Farmers competition has been running for the last eight years. And so far, the competition has rewarded 95 best farmers from across the country.
Speaking on behalf of the judges, Victoria Ssekitoleko, the former Minister of Agriculture, said I Ugandans have the opportunity to sell their products even before planting them.
“Kenyans are buying our maize while it is still in the garden. This is the time for us to go out and open up more land for cultivation,” Ssekitoleko said.
Dr Naluyima won the 2018 Best Farmers Awards. Ssalongo Washington Mugerwa, her husband said that the opportunity for Naluyima to go to the Netherlands was a game-changer for the farm.
“She went to the Netherlands, learned a lot, and brought back that knowledge to our farm,” Mugerwa said.
The Best Farmers Competition is an initiative aimed at recognizing and promoting excellence in farming practices. It is designed to showcase the best practices, innovations, and technologies in agriculture, and to encourage more farmers to adopt these practices.