By Our Reporter
Nebbi: President Museveni has hailed Polla Mixed Farm for proving to the locals that there’s wealth in commercial agriculture.
Located in Udhure Village, Kalowang Parish, Nebbi Sub- County, Nebbi District, Polla Mixed Farm is a medium scale agribusiness company that produces food products for human consumption since 2011. It is owned by Mrs. Grace and Mr. Gilbert Kermundu.
Sitting on 300 acres of land, the farm’s operations include among others; Commercial fruit production – specializing in production of mangoes, orange, watermelon, Apiary and bee products, goats rearing and piggery, Fish farming, growing cereals like gnuts, beans, soya beans and coffee growing.
The President who is on his tour on investment and wealth creation in West Nile under the theme: “Securing your future through wealth creation and shared prosperity” was happy to note that the Kermundu family reaps over Shs100 million per year from their mixed farm despite the challenges. He asked area residents to learn from them.
According to Mrs. Kermundu, last year they were able to get Shs16 million from fruits (mangoes and oranges) although they expected to get around Shs30 million. This, she said, is in addition to the Shs23 million from the 5 acres of watermelon, Shs35 million from the piggery project, Shs4 million from the goats project and Shs12 million from the fish project.
“This is what I really want you to do to get wealth. We don’t want anybody to remain in poverty, yet others are living well. And I’m very happy to find local teachers here like Kermundu who learn from him,” H.E Museveni said, adding that Mr. Kermundu and family have helped him prove what he has been telling Ugandans since 1962.
Mrs. Kermundu informed the President that through their corporate social responsibility program, they have been able to help other farmers with good breeds of piglets, goats and coffee seedlings with free technical assistance on the best practices to get the best out of them.
“Over the years the farm provides extension services to over 300 other farmers in the community in the fields of agronomy, post-harvest handling, value addition, group dynamics and leadership skills,” Mrs. Grace Kermundu said.
She however decried the challenge of inadequate capital to establish fruit processing facilities and wine products as a means of value addition and additional job creation. President Museveni promised to provide the fruit processing machine.
“To be identified as a model farm is not something we take for granted and we thank the President for coming to not only appreciate what we’re doing to support his wealth creation campaign but also to support us,” Mrs. Kermundu added.
President Museveni has on several occasions rallied Ugandans to start practicing commercial agriculture to fight poverty at household level.
According to the President, majority of Ugandans have remained poor because of practicing subsistence farming where they live from hand to mouth, stressing that socio-economic transformation of society can be achieved through encouraging the population to join the money economy through modern commercial and calculated agriculture.