Money Problems Lead to Closure of Major Agricultural Institute

Audio 1

A major farm school in the Rwenzori region has been closed because of the Kabarole district local government cannot sustain its operations.

Kyembogo District Agricultural Training and Information Centre in Busuro Sub-County, Kabarole, was set up in 1966 to equip farmers with scientific skills to improve their agricultural activities. In 1998, the Danish International Development Agency started funding 90 percent of its operations, but withdrew this support last year.

Now, the institute has been closed because Kabarole local government cannot repair equipment, pay staff or maintain the resource center at Kyembogo.

Albert Katuramu, the Centre Manager of Kyembogo Agricultural Training and Information Center, says machinery is decaying due to lack of repair, staff salaries are unpaid and there is no respite in sight. He wants the Central Government to rescue the institute from complete destruction.

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Kyembogo District Agricultural Training and Information Center is one of five such institutes in Uganda. Others are in Masaka, Rakai, Pallisa and Tororo. It serves farmers from Kabarole, Kamwenge, Kyenjojo, Kasese and Bundibugyo.

Albert Katuramu says the closure of the institute is a big blow to the agricultural sector in the Rwenzoris. He says there is no such facility in the region that can offer practical skills at little or no cost to youth interested in farming.

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The center at Kyembogo is located on 200 hectares of land. It has several demonstration gardens, dairy farms, banana plantations, a large piggery and goat and poultry projects.

In its heyday, Kyembogo District Agricultural Training and Information Center was the hub of the farming of Artemisia