ZOMBO. The Uganda Potato Platform Ltd, West Nile branch has adopted its first 4-year strategic plan seeking to among others; embrace modern and commercial potato production.
They also want to tap market linkages, attract partners and enhance capacity building for the registered farmers.
During its second meeting held on Thursday at Sky lux hotel in Paidha town council, Zombo district, members of West Nile potato platform also adopted the steering committee and its membership strategic plan that will cater for small scale farmers in the areas of access to financing, insurance and market among others.
The Chairman Uganda national potato platform, Mr James Komayombi Bulegeya said he is optimistic that the West Nile potato platform will meet its goal to become the leading potato producer in the country on account of members’ commitment and the opportunities that await them.
He said the West Nile potato platform is now a legal entity and must, therefore, act within the confines of the law because it can now sue and be sued.
“You should keep in mind that the platform is now a legal entity and for that matter, it can sue and be sued if it does not act within the limits of the law”, he warned.
Bulegeya said the West Nile potato platform is going to do business and should consider registering farmers from other districts outside the West Nile region.
He also implored the members to embrace modern agronomic practices like the application of fertilizers, disease control, irrigation and use of quality seeds among others for better yields.
“The soil is like your bank account if you withdraw without making deposits, it runs dry and similarly, if you harvest without replenishing the soil with fertilizers and manures, the soil gets exhausted, so don’t keep saying your soil is fertile when you have continued to cultivate it”, he said.
Mr Emmy Kakura Kizito, the chairman Uganda national potato platform West Nile branch said the platform is on track to transforming the potato subsector from subsistence to commercialized agricultural venture and nothing will stop it.
He said through the platform, they intend to strengthen extension services to enable farmers to acquire relevant skills for increased productivity and quality assurance.
“We are going to benefit a lot from this platform now that we have adopted a working document which is now an instrument of power”, he said.
Kakura also appealed to the media to work together with the platform to educate farmers on lucrative ventures and also implored the NGOs to partner with the platform to empower farmers.
Mr John Bosco Dama, the chairman Logiri Sub County, Arua district urged fellow farmers to focus on modern agriculture and teamwork to increase productivity and access to better markets.
“Most of our farmers are still using rudimentary tools that cannot increase productivity, and I believe this platform will advocate and lobby for mechanized agriculture”, he said.
Started in early 2018, the West Nile Potato platform has its regional head office in Zombo district and is an affiliate to the Uganda National Potato Platform headquartered in Kampala.