Kaliro district leaders have called for a legal instrument to be put in place by government obliging all districts in Busoga to visit Kasolwe Stock Farm.
To prove their seriousness in the matter, the leaders said already, they have designed a program where the technical staff, the political executive and farmers will visit Kasolwe Stock Farm so that they learn the various livestock packages on that farm.
The leaders made the remarks while meeting the Senior Presidential Advisor on Busoga in charge of Poverty Alleviation Hon. Florence Mutyabule at the RDC’s office.
“We need a law instructing all district leaders visit Kasolwe Stock Farm and all farmers” Acting CAO Bigirwa Samuel told the meeting.
The secretary for production Kapere Godfrey described Kasolwe as a very good project but however, called for more sensitization on how to access the farm by farmers.
“As a district, we have already drawn a program to effectively utilize that Kasolwe Stock Farm. We plan to first of all take all technical staff to Kasolwe and thereafter, take the district political executive so that they can all appreciate what’s there. After that, we have planned to have selected farmers to go there also and learn what’s there” Kapere informed the meeting. The meeting was attended by the district technical staff, politicians and the Katukiro of Zibondo chiefdom mzee Mutono Samuel. Mutono said that whereas Basoga are reported to be leading in terms of national poverty levels, Basoga are very rich people.
He however, noted that their ability to excel is hampered by negative mindset towards work.
“We have very many intelligent and able bodied youths here. But what are they doing right now? You will find them seated in townships counting who has a new car? When one buys his own new car, they will start calling you ‘a thief’. But who have I stolen? He said. The Katukiro also urged government to always carry out what he called economic survey among people to find out what their needs are before coming up with a particular project for them. Citing two (now) idle milk coolers that were brought to Kaliro by government, the Katukiro said such losses can be minimized if government first consults people on what they need and where.
The vice chairperson Bamukobeire Richard called for more sensitization of people about Kasolwe and other government demonstration farms.
“People tend to think that those demonstration farms are not theirs but things for the president or government. They need to be told so that they can own those farms” he said.
The leaders asked NAGRC &DB to embark on a media campaign to popularize Kasolwe Stock Farm.
“Can we have Kasolwe known everywhere? The managers should use the media platforms very much to popularize it so that farmers can know it. Let’s market that public farm beyond our districts as managers and leaders” Bigirwa said.
Meanwhile, Buyende district, commended government for revitalizing this farm.
“It’s a big resource for us to learn from. We just need to tell our farmers to utilize it. As Buyende, we have already drawn a needs assessment plan on what we need from that farm” the DPO Dr. Kabbale Fredrick told SPA Mutyabule in a meeting at the district headquarters.
The deputy RDC Kasugga Amuli Kintu described the farm as a blessing to Buyende leaders because the district has many farmers but lack skills.
“We have many farmers in dairy farming but are struggling. They don’t know how to make silage and I am happy to hear that Kasolwe has a component in silage formation and storage. Before, we start taking farmers there, we as leaders need to first go there and then come back to mobilize farmers. Let’s embrace this project” he said.
The district vice chairperson Scholastica Magana called for attitude change among Basoga. She said most Basoga are shunning work and only await for handouts which is making many of them poor.
“Most of us thought Kasolwe Stock Farm is for Kamuli. Even when you hear politicians on the media, someone talks of Kamuli that’s why even when we always pass Kasolwe to go to Kamuli, we have never taken an initiative of knowing what’s at Kasolwe stock farm. We hear someone saying everything at Kasolwe is for Kamuli. Now that this has been clarified, Buyende is a cattle corridor. Those who will get a chance of going for training, let’s use it well and come back and relay the message to farmers” she said.
The leaders however, said much as they now have Kasolwe, Buyende has gaps which might prevent it from fully implementing the Kasolwe project idea.
“We want water for production. This is a big gap. We want micro irrigation. So, Buyende needs a special attention” DPO Kabbale Fredrick told Mutyabule to urge the president do something on the issue.
In all the 10 districts and the City she visited to sensitize the district leaders about Kasolwe Stock Farm and it’s services and products, it was evident that some of them had heard about it’s existence but only a few of them had visited this farm. Majority of them also thought the farm is a Kamuli district affair, something NAGRC& DB has tried to clarify through this SPA sensitization campaign.