KAMPALA, Uganda. Uganda’s selected best farmers from across the country are set to depart for the Netherlands on Saturday.
Dubbed as the 13 ‘Good will’ ambassadors, the ladies and gentlemen who spend most of their time in the garden ensuring that the nation has food will fly aboard the Royal Dutch Airlines’ KLM for a week long skills acquisition tour in the Netherlands.
The winners of the 2016 best farmers’ competition were flagged off by the state minister for Agriculture Christopher Kibazanga at a colorful event held at the Dfcu headquarters, Kampala on Thursday evening.
While in Netherlands, the farmers will visit flower, vegetable farms, farm machinery dealers as well dairy farms in Netherlands. Addressing the farmers at the flag off event, Kibazanga urged the 13 to be good will ambassadors and learn something that will help them add value to their products when back.
Former agricultural minister and one of the judges, Victoria Sekitoleko urged the farmers to ‘behave well’ while in Netherlands. “Be good ambassadors while in Netherlands. You are among the best that is why you are here. The best means you add skills to what you are doing as farmers, unlike others engaged in farming” said Sekitoleko.
The KLM country director, Ms Lukia Otema, one of the sponsors said as KLM they are proud to be flying the farmers to the Netherlands. “By getting involved in flying Uganda’s best farmers to the Netherlands, we feel as giving back to the Ugandans,” said Otema. She noted that KLM is the biggest carrier of Uganda’s exports to Europe.
Jimmy Mugerwa the dfcu board chair, the bank that is bankrolling the best farmers’ selection now in its fourth year said the venture is one the biggest projects the bank has taken in recent years. “We are delighted to be associated with KLM and the Ugandan farmers. Netherlands, where you are going is one of the super powers in the world in terms of food production,” said Mugerwa.
Mugerwa also echoed earlier calls urging the farmers not to leave a bad name, since they are representing Uganda as ambassadors in Netherlands. Vision Group CEO Robert Kabushenga expressed his gratitude to dfcu bank, KLM, and the Dutch embassy for coming in to support the farmers.
“Now that the project has been steered to where it is now, I can now beg leave to start a new project of mobilizing the cultural and traditional leaders,” said Kabushenga. The best farmers’ competition is sponsored by the Dutch Embassy, KLM airlines, dfcu bank and Vision Group.