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Chinese experts showcase new seed varieties, technology at Uganda agricultural exhibition

Source: Xinhua | 2023-08-10
Chinese experts showcase new seed varieties, technology at Uganda agricultural exhibition

This photo taken on Aug. 8, 2023 shows variety of seeds displayed at the booth of the Chinese agricultural experts at the national agriculture exhibition in Jinja, Uganda. [Photo by Nie Zuguo/Xinhua]

JINJA, Uganda, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese agricultural experts in Uganda since Tuesday have been showcasing new seed varieties and technology at the country's ongoing annual agriculture exhibition in the city of Jinja, the Eastern Region, which has immensely impressed local farmers.

Visitors who thronged their stall shared with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) were keen on knowing the high-yielding rice seeds, foxtail millet, and several small agricultural gadgets.

"If we want to get out of poverty, we need to open our eyes and ears, so that we can learn especially about the seeds that are giving high yields," Jubilee Amooti, a commercial farmer, told Xinhua after visiting the experts' stall. "I learned a lot, I'm going to practice what they have told me to do. They gave me a sample (sorghum) to go and try, after seeing how it is yielding, I can plant it on a bigger scale."

Joseph Mutale, a local farmer, said the Chinese have exhibited some machines which can be critical to farmers, especially during the planting season.

"It is costly but if we can buy it as a group, then it is affordable," Mutale said, referring to a two-wheeled seed planter.

Dick Nuwamanya, the president of the Uganda National Farmers Federation, told Xinhua that Chinese agriculture experts are important in technology transfer, especially in rural areas.

"Chinese being here, with new varieties and expertise, is absolutely a welcome move for us. The more we see it (technology) the better for us because it means we will learn how things are done differently," Nuwamanya said.

A team of Chinese experts is delivering their service in Uganda under tripartite cooperation with Uganda, China, and the FAO under the South-South cooperation framework. They are sharing experiences with local farmers on how to boost production and promote agricultural transformation.

Speaking to Xinhua at the exhibition, Zhang Xiaoqiang, head of the Chinese agriculture team under the FAO-China South-South Program in Uganda, said this was their first time participating in the country's national agricultural show, which opened on Aug. 4 and will conclude Saturday.

"Through this exhibition, local farmers can better experience our agricultural technologies, leading to the adoption of our new varieties and techniques by more farmers. This will play a crucial role in increasing food production, income, and food security levels in the country," said Zhang.

He said the seed varieties they have brought to the show were of excellent drought and disease resistance with high yields, and visitors have been highly impressed by the taste of the cooked rice and millet they have prepared.

The agricultural exhibition, organized by the Uganda National Farmers Federation in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, provides farmers and agro-industry players an opportunity to showcase their innovations and technologies as well as to engage in business networking. It also brings together agricultural scientists, small and large-scale farmers, and service providers from across the value chain.