In March 2021, Asili Farms hosted seven lecturers from four agriculturalinstitutions; Bukalasa Agricultural College, Kaberamaido Technical Institute, Ssese Farm Institute and Rwentanga Farm Institute for refresher training and capacity building in the production of maize and soya beans.
The four institutions form a cluster under the tutelage of Bukalasa Agricultural College, which is part of the Government of Uganda’s effort through the Uganda Skills Development Project to promote Competence Based Education and Training (CBET) in Agriculture.
During the engagement, we took the participants through different aspects of conservation farming; from seedbed preparation all the way to post-harvest handling.
Through this process, we explained and highlighted the importance of the use of non-tillage agriculture, planting and spacing of seeds as well as the value of ascertaining seed population, seed varieties and why those particular varieties matter.
By engaging the lecturers and other institutionsas per our plan, Agilis will be supporting the transformation of the country’s agricultural sector by equipping lecturers and students with knowledge on the requisite extension services.
The various on-the-farm research that has been conducted by Asili on varietal performance, fertilizer application rates, population targets for crops like soya, maize, sunflower, wheat and rice, among other topics were shared with the lecturers.
In his words, Wilfred Byaruhanga, the head of the delegation, pointed out that he had learnt the importance of precision in planting especially for the maize grains. Planting at the right time makes all the difference when it comes to grains.
“I have learnt that what makes the difference in the quality of the yield is the precision in planting. Anybody going into grain production as a farmer, should know that they should not miss the time when they should plant. Beyond a certain time, one would have started incurring losses. You would rather let the ground fallow than insist on planting beyond the planting season,” he noted.
As an enterprise whose mission is to empower Ugandans to feed Africa, we believe that the biggest opportunity in agriculture today is to capitalize on the change in mindset that is seen at the productive end of the value chains: farmers, input suppliers, and extension service providers.
The interactions we have initiated with the educational institutions and in particular, persons tasked with equipping future extension workers with this knowledge will be one of the key avenues to bringing information on climate smart farming to farmers across the country.