The World Food Bank is honored to work with many partners across East Africa who share our commitment to improving food systems in the region and ending hunger. One of these partners is Farmrite in Uganda. We work with Farmrite at our 5,000-acre farm in the Hoima District of Uganda and rely on them to assist us with farm management duties related to bush clearing, plowing, harrowing, planting, crop management, and harvesting, among other things.
Our goals through this partnership are many, and they include achieving a fully-cultivated farm in the second season of 2018, improving food security in Uganda through higher crop yields and access to markets, creating jobs for local Ugandans, and creating awareness around the benefits of agricultural machinery use and best agronomic practices.
Read on below for our Q&A with Farmrite owners Dan Killimani and Dan Murunga.
WFB: Tell us about Farmrite and the services you offer.
FR: Farmrite is a growing company dealing in farm machineries, agricultural technologies & farm management including the importation and distribution of agricultural tractors, postharvest equipment, dairy equipment, Irrigation equipment, greenhouse technologies, aquaculture and fish farming technologies, farm generators, and hatchery equipment. We also offer services of Tractor Hire, Bush Clearing Services, valley tanks excavation, fish ponds construction, Dam construction (for water for Agriculture), construction of farm roads, irrigation systems design and construction as well as offer Farm Management Services. We have gently grown our roots in East African Countries of Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda and recently South Sudan and slowly gaining International recognition. Our motto is “Farming is Life.”
WFB: Why are you motivated to work on improving Agriculture Systems in Africa? What Issues are you trying to address, particularly in helping smallholder farmers succeed?
FR: We are motivated to work on improving agriculture systems in Africa so as to contribute to increasing food production and food security. We mostly work to phase out the use of what we refer to as “age-old tools,” as we believe a lack of appropriate tools has contributed to Africa being food insecure. Particularly in Uganda, up to 90% of the food is grown using hand tools. Farmrite is therefore founded on the mission of increasing machinery use in food production. At Farmrite, we believe that if the use of machinery in food production grows, food production will increase, and as a result will lead to food security. We also strive to create job opportunities for youth in rural areas to ease the rural-to-urban youth migration through the services we provide in bush clearing, tractor services, agriculture infrastructure development, irrigation systems set up, farm management, and agronomic practices education.
WFB: Anything else you would like to add?
FR: Farming is a complex venture, yet also very simple as long as certain principles are adhered to and respected. Farming in Africa is dependent on weather patterns and land preparation operations must follow timelines before the rainy season sets in. Once rains start, planting must be done so as to utilize moisture from precipitation for the growth of the crop. Once timelines for the season are adhered to, chances are high to a successful crop and the reverse is true.
Given negative impacts brought about by climate change, irrigation remains the one main solution to assured yields. One of our slogans is: “If you want assured yields, irrigate”. To be assured of yields in crop production at Kyangwali farm, we are working with the World Food Bank to develop a successful irrigation plan.