Kampala, October 2023 – In a continued commitment to fostering agricultural growth and recognizing the vital role agriculture plays in Uganda’s economy, dfcu Bank, in partnership with New Vision Group, The Embassy of the Netherlands, KLM Airlines, and Koudjis Nutrition BV, flagged off the 2nd cohort of the 2020 Best Farmers Competition winners for a week-long visit to the Netherlands. This initiative has been running for the past nine years and has consistently aimed at promoting excellence in farming practices and supporting the backbone of Uganda’s economy – agriculture.
The 2020 Best Farmers Competition winners, totaling thirteen exceptional individuals embarked on a transformative journey to the Netherlands at the start of the month. During their one-week visit, they had the opportunity to learn about cutting-edge technologies and gain valuable insights into international agricultural markets. Additionally, the winners engaged with a diverse array of stakeholders, including companies, knowledge institutions, processors, and technology developers.
Kate K Kiiza, the Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of dfcu Bank expressed her gratitude to the partners who have supported the initiative since its inception. She noted that the Best Farmers Awards have become more than just an annual event, but a testament to the dedication and resilience of Ugandan farmers who have shown that agriculture is not just a way of life but a promising and profitable business opportunity.
She reiterated that dfcu Bank remains committed to supporting the growth of Uganda’s agricultural sector. “As an enabler of socioeconomic development, dfcu Bank has designed a range of financial products and services tailored specifically for the range of various individuals and businesses which take part in the agriculture value chain. We aim to help them grow their businesses, increase their productivity, and ultimately contribute to the economic development of Uganda.”
She further mentioned that earlier this year, dfcu, Mastercard and Rabo partnerships announced a strategic partnership aimed at digitalizing the agricultural ecosystem in Uganda. With this initiative, small holder farmers will benefit from an increase in access to markets and credit.
The CEO Vision Group, Don Wanyama, commended the partners and judges for staying with the Best Farmers initiative for over 9 years. He noted that so far, the competition has rewarded 90 participants and 72 farmers have already traveled to the Netherlands. He also stated that Ugx. 1.2 billion has been disbursed to farmers for purchase of modern farm equipment, to support them as they grow their businesses.
Gracing the event as the Chief Guest, Dr. Steven Byantwale, the Commissioner for Crop Protection at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries encouraged the winners to learn the key aspects of agribusiness that has made the farmers in the Netherlands successful. He urged them to pay attention to aspects such as inputs, production processes, marketing, post-harvest handling, etc. “Learn the best practices so that upon your return, we can have a multiplier effect in Uganda’s agricultural industry”, he said.
dfcu Bank’s unwavering dedication to Uganda’s agricultural sector aligns with its broader mission of fostering economic growth and prosperity for the nation. By recognizing and celebrating excellence in farming, dfcu Bank aims to inspire and empower more farmers to adopt best practices, ultimately driving sustainable development and improving the livelihoods of countless Ugandans.