Message from the President
This year UNFFE marks 30 years since its inception and it remains the largest national farmers’ body mandated through a robust strategy to mobilize, organize, empower and coordinate linkages that offer better products and services to all value chain actors especially the smallholder farmers. Using a well-structured network starting from Special Interest Groups (SIGs) at Village level, Parish Executive Committee (PEC) at Parish level, Sub-County Executive Committee (SEC) at Sub county level, the District Farmer Associations (DFAs) at District level which later constitute the National Farmers Council at National level. UNFFE connects this network of farmers to inputs, advisory services, affordable financial service providers, markets and forward and backward linkages along different value chains.
At the beginning of each year, at UNFFE we set ourselves goals in line with our strategic plan 2018-2023 which we review during the course of the year because we want to know if indeed we remain on track of the things we wanted to achieve. Towards close of the year we reflect on ourselves as individuals and as an organization to access the overall performance.
The year 2020 has obviously been a year of mixed lessons, there has been some sadness as we have lost a number of wonderful members in our farming community due to COVID-19 pandemic (May their souls rest in peace). The measures to curb this deadly virus had several other devastating impacts to the overall economy and particularly to the farming sector, farmers’ produce could not access local and international markets due to the lockdown and closure of the international airports, this led to a downfall of prices of the agricultural produce and farmers could not break even with that price, farmers could not access the working capital, farm labour became a serious challenge as people were restricted to move, limited access to farm inputs, limited transport since vehicles were restricted to move and the closure of factories all had serious negative impacts to farming sector.
However, I must say that despite the challenging times, Uganda has remained largely food and nutrition secure due to the resilience and hard work of our farmers. The challenges we faced as farmers clearly have tested our patience and character on and off farm and such an experience shapes our strategic planning to turn possibilities into tangible fortunes. It also poses yet another opportunity for us to try and work harder in our concerted effort to realize our common goals within the farming fraternity.
I would to extend a vote of thanks to the Government of Uganda under the leadership of His Excellency the President for getting it right from the beginning that Agriculture is a sector of focus and investment if we are to alleviate poverty among the citizens. The support to farmers particularly smallholder farmers during the lockdown in the second quarter of the year in form of agricultural inputs from the government was highly appreciated.
Members, the sound ideals and spirit on which the federation was founded, have always kept us the strong organ we have become, the one which takes full responsibility for its successes and failures. This year was no exception in how we stood and united as farmers and farmers’ organizations to demonstrate high levels of resilience amidst the pandemic regardless of how it has persisted to stand between us and our enduring culture of winning. We are grateful of the confidence and support we continue to enjoy from the Federation’s stakeholders. Our board/National Executive Committee Members, the management, our sponsorship and strategic partners have once more rallied behind us to see us through the tough times.
Our growth this year in the technical, operational and strategic spheres, evidence our recommitment to continuing serving the interests of farmers in the country as a leading farmers organization at the apex, strong enough as the voice for farmers.
Lastly, to you our members, my sincere appreciation for your support to the Federation and the pride you demonstrate at being members of the farming community. You are the source of strength for the Federation. As farmers we will in the long term reap in the fruits which will come as a result of the ongoing growth of the Federation.
Let us all be reminded of our obligation to observe Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of covid19 in a much responsible way not only to safeguard our wellbeing but of others.
For God and My Country
Dick Nuwamanya Kamuganga (PhD)