From his farm in Ntangala village in Katikamu Sub-county, Luweero District, Joseph Lwevuze has not only used modern farming practices but taught them to other farmers. As a result, more than 4,000 farmers have been beneficiaries.
A catechist and Papal knight attached to Kasana-Luweero Diocese, Lwevuze is considered a successful farmer in the district.
Because of this, he receives requests for study visits on-farm trainings from farmer groups and organisations.
“I have been able to get their attention because I practice what I teach farmers who visit my farm. With the earnings from the farm, I set up a training facility I have concentrated on coffee, banana and poultry. My family members are the reason for the success you see on this farm,” Lwevuze said.
The organisations that send farmer groups to St Joseph Ntangala Rural Farm Training Centre include Caritas and Uganda Joint Christian Council. The individual farmers come from Nakasongola, Luweero, Nakaseke, Mityana, Masaka among others.
He owns about seven acres of coffee, four acres of banana, and a poultry farm with more than 1,500 chickens.
“Many people claim that successful farmers have to concentrate on a particular enterprise, which I dispel because I have been able to balance and maintain the different activities for the last 13 years,” he says.
“I serve a good example of a catechist who does not demand the people I serve but give them a living example. They are expected to ensure food security and diversify income by effectively utilising their land.”
While carrying out several agricultural enterprises, one should be able to embrace new ideas and learn to be patient. This the aice that he gives to the farmers that come for study visits.
Lwenvuze, who recently retired after 23 years as an agriculture extension officer under Kasana- Luweero Diocese, attributes this philosophy as what has helped to shape his farming career.
With the different enterprises, he is able to earn a daily income. On top of that, he says the different projects which are well managed by his family members.
“Most of our agriculture businesses are seasonal, which is the reason why I encourage farmers not to concentrate on a single income project which may be seasonal. The poultry project has ably provided the manure which I apply to the rest of the farm gardens. I do not have to buy manure for my coffee, bananas and orange gardens. The animal droppings from the piggery boost the farm manure,” explains Lwevuze.
However, many of the farmers in Luweero District have little access to facilities that can help add value to their agriculture produce before reaching the market.
In light of this, he feels it is one particular area that they want the government to come up with the necessary interventions and related support.
“We cannot process most of our agricultural produce including the oranges, pineapples and mangoes before sale. This is a big gap in our agriculture sector which has discouraged many farmers from concentrating on the different agriculture projects in Luweero,” he says.
Value addition according to Mr Lwevuze is a serious missing link which has left many farmers still earning much less than they potentially could.
Unlike other “progressive” farmers, Lwevuze’s neighbours claim that he has not been selfish with his farm knowledge and skills. This is a view shared by Joram Kanakulya who owns a one-acre coffee plantation in Buyuki village.
who is a papal knight?
Pontifical decorations are the titles of nobility, orders of Christian knighthood and other marks of honour and distinction which are confered upon men of unblemished character who have in any way promoted the interests of society, the Church, and the Holy See.
The titles range from prince to baron inclusive, and are bestowed by the Pope.
The papal orders of knighthood, ranking according to their importance and dignity, are:
1. Supreme Order of Christ
2. Order of Pius IX
3. Order of St. Gregory the Great
4. Order of St. Sylvester
5. Order of the Golden Militia (also called of the Golden Spur,
Order of The Holy Sepulchre).
.SOURCE: DAILY MONITOR