By Mulengera Reporters
Muteesa I Royal University has started a campaign to promote eco-friendly farming practices to respond to the social and environmental problems affecting agriculture.
Professor Vincent Kakembo, the University’s Vice Chancellor says they have set out to make a direct contribution to the community through the provision of appropriate guidance to farmers’ groups with an aim of reversing the dire effects of climate change in the area.
He says they have started identifying communities around the University’s main campus at Kirumba in Masaka District; who are going to be enlightened with proper and improved farming practices that can enhance their production capacities without endangering the environment around them.
Professor Kakembo indicates that they are going to support farmers with soil testing services, providing advice on suitable crops and plant varieties for the different areas, and teaching farmers how to make affordable organic fertilizers and their applications, among other practices that use ancient techniques such as natural pesticides, crop rotations, terracing that respond to the framers’ needs.
Kakembo explains that the University has also designed agricultural-based short courses which they are soon going to integrate into their academic programs for purposes of diversifying their campaign and its benefits in the long term.
He reveals that besides their internal capacities, the University is engaging the government agencies such as the National Agricultural Research Organization-NARO satellite station at Kamenyamigo in Bukomansimbi district, to beef them with the capacities required to realize their aspirations fully.
The practices of agroecology, also known as eco-farming, are appreciated by the Food and Agriculture Organization-FAO as cost friendly intervention that has proven capacity to deliver nutritious, environmentally friendly foods for a growing world. It can also support increased farmers’ earnings and provide diseases and drought resilience to plantations.
Sebastian Ssebatta, the Chairperson of Greater Masaka Coffee Farmers Network says they are currently yearning for any proven interventions that can appropriately respond to the challenges affecting their sector.
He says that many farmers are struggling to earn from the efforts because of the underlying knowledge and skills gap on how to manage their plantations, saying that the intervention by the University is long overdue-URN (For comments on this story, get back to us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734 & 0200900416 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).