02nd Dec, 2023 7:14am
In pursuit to give back to the community, Islamic University in Uganda has started a periodic agricultural training workshop aimed at equipping farmers from the surrounding community with better farming skills to better their productivity.
The Initiative that is being spear headed by the University’s FM radio; 93.1IUIU FM, kick started on 15th July 2018 with over 200 farmers from across BugisuSub- Region and it is to be held at least once a year.
Speaking to IUIU FM station manager Yusuf Â Musisi Mayanja, he revealed that the idea was developed from the agricultural radio programme (tumbula obulunzi no’obulimi) where the local community requested for a physical interaction with Agricultural specialists.
“It had become overwhelming that the listeners and other community members keep requesting for an opportunity to get such training from the experts after listening to them on radio” MusisiÂ stated.
Mr. Musisi says that the listeners’ request prompted the radio team and the university secretariat to organise the seminar as well as plan its continuity.
He explained that the training focused on how farmers can use available resources for better production. To justify their area of focus in the training, Mr. Musisi explained that the request for the training came at a time when most Agro inputs are very expensive and unaffordable to most local farmers.
“Today the trainers majored on showing the farmers how to make organic manure from the by-products like chicken drops, cowdungs, plant remains among others which we easily find in our surroundings” he explained.
In the workshop that stretched throughout the day at the University’s main campus in Mbale, farmers were also trained better poultry rearing and animal keeping methods including breeding chicks, making nutritious chicken feeds locally and animal disease control mechanisms in local households.
Mr. Kasirye Gracious, one of the trainers noted that from his experience, failure by farmers to produce better yields is because of too much dependence on industrially manufactured agricultural inputs.
“TheseÂ days most local farmers depend too much on industrial products like fertilizers, animal medicine, feeds and so many other things; forgettingÂ that ourÂ fore fathers were great agriculturalists who never even used any of these products” Kasirye emphasized.
He encouraged the farmers to follow the right procedures as taught to them and to use the little they have in their surrounding noting that it will better their yields.
A Middle aged Nambafu Ruth, a Primary teacher and an animal farmer from Bulambuli district expressed gratitude upon the training noting that it is an opportunity she had been waiting for, forso long.
Ms. Nambafu explained that as an academic institution of higher learning, Islamic University in Uganda is really playing the right role in the community and further called for more of such training that can stretch beyond agriculture.While closing the workshop, the Assistant University Secretary Mr.Kinsambwe Rashid applauded the farmers for dedicating their time to seek knowledge and also for having trust in the University as a community institution.Â