Trusting each other – valuing one another, learning from one another. The AHA and Schorlemer Foundation on a flying visit to UNFFE and UNYFA

by Thorben Persch

Green Week in Uganda. Once a year, the "who's who" of Ugandan agriculture gathers at the National Agricultural Show in Jinja. Included this year were four representatives from the AHA and DBV/Schorlemer Foundation. In addition to a thrilling visit to the show, there were visits to partners involved in German international cooperation as well as to former and future participants of the exchange programme (IYFEP).
Die deutsche Delegation lernt alles über ugandischen Kaffee
The German delegation learns all about Ugandan coffee

“Over there is our food, it will last for many months more. Last year we created silos from which we can still supply our stock.” Visibly proud, Mr. Lugoloobi Henry Sight points with his cane to the bunker silos on his farm. He has many reasons to be proud: his farm, about two hours from Kampala, is obviously a very successful business: artificial insemination, good stables and healthy dairy cows supplying up to 30 litres of milk per day – a remarkable number, whether in Uganda or in Germany. Denis Kabiito, CEO of the Uganda National Young Farmers’ Association (UNYFA) sums it up well: “Mr. Sight’s farm is living proof of what Ugandan agriculture can achieve. Not only are we happy to have him as a host farm, but we are also delighted that his son Alexander will be travelling to Germany in August to participate in the 5th round of IYFEP.” This and other visits gave us a good insight into the state of the IYFEP while on our journey to Jinja, the source of the Nile.

Visits to host forms and to former and future interns constitute a major change in scenery compared to the visits in Uganda’s main city Kampala, but are no less interesting: during the visit to the German Embassy we obtained a good overview of German engagement in Uganda. During a meeting involving several GIZ projects, we were able to discuss different approaches and possible cooperation. The Konrad Adenauer Foundation shared its view on Uganda’s political situation.

Gesunde Kühe beim Gastbetrieb in Uganda
Healthy cows at the host farm in Uganda

Packed with many new insights and experiences, we reached Jinja – the destination of this trip – with its National Agricultural Show, organised by our partner UNFFE. The show grounds could be seen and heard from afar. In good show tradition, there were smaller festivities here and there until late in the evening. During the day, the show glistened with many specialised exhibitors, who took great pleasure in offering their products and services – be it coffee, fish ponds for small farmers or even scarves made from the leaves of the banana tree. In addition, UNFFE also took care of a varied accompanying programme, organising different panel discussions. At one of these discussions on “Developing Sustainability of Farmers’ Organisations,” our AHA Managing Director, Dr. Andreas Quiring, and Deputy Secretary General and Executive Director of the Schorlemer Foundation, Mr. Gerald Dohme, exchanged views with UNFFE’s General Secretary Mr. Ocitti Tom Oryema and UNFFE’s Vice-President Akullo Sharon and they fielded questions from the audience.

Herr Dr. Quiring und Hr. Dohme diskutieren mit UNFFE und vielen Gästen über Merkmale eines nachhaltigen Bauernverbandes
Dr. Quiring and Mr. Dohme discuss with UNFFE and many guests about characteristics of a sustainable farmers' association

After a full programme, we returned to Kampala, taking a short detour to the source of the Nile, and, a little later, on to the airport in Entebbe on Lake Victoria. Our suitcases and bags were full of dirty laundry and souvenirs (such as a bottle of Ugandan gin). Likewise, our heads were full of impressions, ideas and new perspectives.



The Author

Thorben Persch

Programme Manager international

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