Ditch Sugarcane for Lucrative Crops - Balaam to Masindi Farmers – The Ankole Times

Ditch Sugarcane for Lucrative Crops – Balaam to Masindi Farmers

Friday, April 12, 2024

Youth and Children Affairs State Minister Balaam Barugahara has called upon local farmers to reconsider their reliance on sugarcane cultivation in a bid to uplift the agricultural landscape and economic fortunes of Masindi district. Barugahara asserted that transitioning to high value crops alongside this shift is pivotal to elevating residents out of poverty.

It appears that Masindi residents have been diverting their efforts away from traditional food crops such as bananas, coffee, and fruits, opting instead to allocate land for sugarcane cultivation. This trend has prompted Barugahara to advocate for a change in approach, advocating for a diversification of crops to bolster economic prosperity.

Barugahara’s call to action came during a gathering of over 200 women entrepreneurs at the Kabalega Resort in Masindi town, convened for an information sharing session under the Grow project. This initiative, facilitated by the Gender Ministry, Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) Grow Enterprises for Women Project, and the World Bank, aims to equip women with the necessary skills in apiary and dairy farming.

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Reflecting on his recent interactions with President Yoweri Museveni and subsequent directives, Barugahara expressed his commitment to transforming Masindi’s economic landscape. He outlined plans to establish a demonstration farm spanning five acres, aimed at educating residents on optimal agronomic practices and encouraging investment in lucrative enterprises.

The minister emphasized the potential of high value crops such as coffee, fruits, and livestock farming to drive economic growth and improve livelihoods within the community. Furthermore, he urged women entrepreneurs to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the GROW project, which seeks to empower women and enhance enterprise productivity.

The GROW project, supported by the government, is poised to provide tailored services to women entrepreneurs, facilitating their transition from micro to medium sized enterprises while enhancing productivity. Its multifaceted approach encompasses empowerment and enterprise development services, access to finance, and infrastructural support.

With a word of caution, Barugahara advised prudent utilization of project funds, urging beneficiaries to prioritize investment over frivolous expenditure. This sentiment was echoed by Ever Katusiime, representing the Gender Ministry, who underscored the project’s focus on enhancing product quality and value addition for dairy and beekeeping enterprises.

Annet Kyomuhendo, Regional Manager of the Dairy Development Authority for Bunyoro region, called for the establishment of modern milk processing facilities in the region to unlock the full potential of its dairy industry. Meanwhile, Masindi District Woman Member of Parliament Florence Asiimwe encouraged women to embrace the project’s opportunities, emphasizing its potential for socioeconomic empowerment.

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Hope Turyomurugyendo has a pivotal role as the Jobs and Tenders Notices Publisher at The Ankole Times. She is driven by a passion for connecting job seekers, entrepreneurs, and businesses with valuable opportunities in Uganda.
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