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Bugiri farmers grapple with power blackout that renders main milling machine idle


Bugiri farmers showing the milling machine donated to them. PHOTO URN

Bugiri, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Over 2700 Farmers in Bugiri district are grappling with frequent power shortages, which threaten the development of agriculture in the area. Moses Makaka, the Manager of the Bugiri Agribusiness Institutions Development Association (BAIDA), says that the main challenge is between Musita and Nankoma in Bugiri district.

According to Makaka, to improve the farmer’s income and productivity, the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) donated to them a milling machine that is lying idle most of the time because of frequent power blackouts in the area. He explains that whenever they consult Umeme about the power outages, they get no response.

Makaka said that they handle over 100 farmers every day who bring their produce to the mill for value addition so that they can improve their income but they always find the power off. The initial donation of the milling machine by the Sasakawa Africa Association aimed to empower farmers through training and innovative agricultural practices, focusing on market-oriented, sustainable, and nutrition-sensitive approaches to enhance productivity.

Zidah Naigaga, a local farmer, shared her transformative experience, citing an increase in maize production from four bags per hectare to fifteen bags across two hectares after receiving training from Sasakawa Africa Association. This boost in yield has significantly improved her ability to provide for her family and support her children’s education.

Christine Kyomugisha, the program officer overseeing regenerative agriculture at Sasakawa Africa Association, emphasized the implementation of farmer support centers. These centers serve as hubs for information on farming practices and value addition, aiming to uplift farmers’ incomes.

Kyomugisha further detailed the training provided to farmers, focusing on enhancing crop yields, imparting effective agronomic practices, proper harvest handling techniques, and promoting nutrition-sensitive agriculture. The goal is to address malnutrition by cultivating nutrient-rich crops that contribute to improving the overall nutrition of the community.

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