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Young innovators in Germany for farming exchange programme

Six young farmers are set to spend two-and-half-months learning about the best farming methods in Germany.

This is part of an exchange programme between the Uganda National Young Farmers Association (UNYFA) and their German counterparts under the Schorlermer Foundation of the German Farmers’ Association (DBV).

UNYFA created the exchange programme to enable farmers learn global food systems and the first cohort visited Germany in 2019. The programme is reciprocal and has young German farmers visiting Uganda to learn how it is done here.

The exchange programme is a competitive process through which young farmers aged between 18 and 39 years showcase their farming innovations after which six of the best are chosen by an expert panel.

While flagging off the young farmers, Richard Ssemwanga, the UNYFA president, advised them to respect time and culture of their hosts as well as to create relationships.

Vicky Nalwanga is one of the beneficiaries travelling for the exchange programme. She said she is hopeful to attain more knowledge and skills from German farmers in pursuance of her dream to be a model farmer. She is also optimistic to transfer the knowledge received onto her growing poultry farm in Wakiso.

Meanwhile, UNYFA CEO Denis Kabiito said the exchange programme is one of the best means of transferring knowledge between farmers from different locations of the world experiencing different climatic conditions while dealing in the same fields of farming.

Kabiito added that the exchanges have already yielded fruits. “One of the young farmers in the second cohort recently received an automated milking and storage machine as a donation out of the relationships he established during the exchange programme,” he said. “So, you should look to emulate him and build your farming concepts.”

On the other hand, Kabiito announced that UNYFA has developed a farmer organizations video library that details how different farming practices are performed. “We get videos from the internet and also record others from around Uganda explaining the different stages of farming. We ensure that the videos are translated into different languages like French, Kiswahili, English and Luganda to give our farmers audiovisual trainings,” he said.

“Using online audiovisual trainings has also dealt away with farmers complaining about absence of physical workshops since they can now access all the necessary information within the comfort of their homes.”

He added that UNYFA is confident that when the latest cohort of exchange students return, they shall be helpful in transferring knowledge to their 32,000 national membership. 

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