By Max Patrick Ocaido
Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Operations Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba has advised Ugandans especially the youths to stop looking down on agriculture saying the sector is a hub of wealth.
Gen Kainerugaba on Tuesday spent the bigger part of his day touring a huge demonstration farm in Rugyeyo in Namayumba Sub-county, Wakiso District belonging to Vision Group CEO Robert Kabushenga who had invited him.
For 3 years now, Kabushenga has been engaged in commercial farming in Rugyeyo where he has a banana plantation that sits on 18 acres and 50 acres of coffee making him one of the biggest producers of matooke in Namayumba.
During the tour, Gen Kainerugaba urged the youths to stop looking down on agriculture because people like Robert Kabushenga are minting millions of shillings from growing matooke, coffee and others.
“This is an activity that we should all engage in because we have all seen from Mr Kabushenga’s farm that it can be of huge monetary benefits. So, farming is not an activity that should be looked down upon and I encourage many people to follow suit because he [Kabushenga] is making millions of shillings from bananas, coffee, beehives,” Gen Kainerugaba said.
The General commended Kabushenga for such an exemplary initiative that he said has equally inspired him to engage in crop farming on top of cattle rearing that he is currently engaged in.
“I am very impressed by the farming that Mr Kabushenga is doing and I really congratulate him so much. I am also inspired to try crop farming. Currently, I am not a big cattle farmer, but I am getting there especially after taking some lessons here,” he said.
Gen Kainerugaba also cautioned farmers against paying less attention to their plantations, saying that this kind of irresponsible farming results into bad or poor yields, thus less income.
“From this farm, you can see that the most important aspect is being attentive to requirements of the crops and I think this is why most farmers fail, because they don’t put in energy, and that is why I once again congratulate Mr Kabushenga for dedicating time to put up such a farm,” Gen Kainerugaba added.
2019 is Year of Productivity
Gen Kainerugaba also advised young people against selling their small pieces of land in the village to seek casual jobs in urban centre.
“I know rural-urban migration is inevitable, but I would urge people to migrate with caution because you will end up abandoning your small land or farm in the village to buy a bodaboda in town which could crush in a road accident. If you are going to town then have a plan on how you are going to survive,” Gen Kainerugaba advised.
He advised young people to engage in planting crops like matooke which they can harvest regularly.
As his last message to Ugandans, Gen Kainerugaba said that 2019 should be a special year full of energy, good health and productivity.
“In 2019, let us try to be more productive economically. Let us also be more patriotic and lastly, let us take good care of ourselves,” he said.
Kabushenga Tips Young Farmers
Kabushenga who mints millions annually from his farm said that his 2019 target is to harvest 1,200 bunches of matooke after every about 2 months. He has also hopes to improve productivity by engaging in extensive bee and cattle keeping to supplement the productivity of his matooke and coffee plantations.
“My core business right now is coffee and banana. I have also started bee keeping so that the bees can pollinate my plantations. I also want to start cattle keeping so that they provide me with cow dung as fertilizers since it is expensive to buy,” Kabushenga said.
He said that he uses two wheelbarrows of cow dung for each banana fibre.
Kabushenga thanked Gen Kainerugaba for sparing time to visit his demonstration farm and asked him to remind President Yoweri Museveni about his 2016 pledge of supplying 18m hoes to households.
“I request you to remind Mzee [Museveni] about his pledge of 18m hoes. Hoes are really expensive and most of them are counterfeit. Even we commercial farmers need hoes because you cannot do weeding or maintain the gardens with a tractor. Can you imagine I buy over 50 hoes 3 times a year,” Kabushenga revealed.