Radio Apac

The 2024 School Farm Camp rouses students’ curiosity in farming

15 May 2024, 4:07 pm

By Mike Okwang Ogule

Students and teachers during a demonstration.

The Farm Camp initiative, which started in 2014 as a Gayaza enterprise, has seen in 2024 the participation of over 20 schools across Northern Uganda and more than 150 students and 50 teachers in the event that took place at St Charles Lwanga secondary school in Koboko Municipality.

Themed “skilling the learners through agribusiness to enhance food security, self-reliance and environmental conservation”, the 2024 farm camp also attracted local leaders from within and outside West Nile region who actively observed students showcase their different agrarian abilities.

 Mr. Francis Okeny the host headteacher in his welcome remarks spoke excitedly about his experience. “This camp this time round is a serious milestone to us in building a firm synergy towards our backbone which is agriculture.”

According to Ronald Ddungu, the Principal Education officer, MoES and Desk Officer-West Nile & Acholi, the concept for the School Farm Camp was designed to provide students and teachers with practical agricultural skills to help them develop an entrepreneurial mind and motivate them to pass on the knowledge to their communities. The activities undertaken at the camp allowed the participants to experience the life of an entrepreneurial farmer for the entirety of the camp.

Mathias Mutema, a curriculum specialist with National Curriculum Development Centre encouraged both students and teachers to always cheer being practical especially in agricultural related practices in order to scoop a better output.

Fish farming technique being exhibited during the camp.

Supported by Northern Uganda Resilience Innovation Network (NURIN), Maruzi seed secondary school in Apac was also part of the camp as the only school from Lango sub region.

The agricultural sequence teacher at Maruzi Seed SS Mr. Joel Adoko, attended the camp with four of his students. As their first experience, Adoko swore to take other students through the skills acquired during the camp.

The 2024 School Farm Camp has generated much excitement for many students and their teachers about the different farming practices that they learnt. “The camp has taught me many, many things,” says Joshua Opio, a student from Maruzi seed SS Apac. “I have learnt greenhouse farming, open field vegetable growing, farm machinery, value addition in agricultural products among other vital topics. This has greatly impacted my life. I thank NURIN for supporting our school for this great camp.”

Charles Ayume, the Koboko municipality legislature, in his remarks acknowledged the current competition in the agricultural products but thanked the organizers for their strong vision of instilling in learners different and updated trends in agriculture.

The camp that took five days from 4th to 8th May 2024 was centred with hope of gradually developing youth leaders and educators who will not only speak for and on behalf of agribusiness but also put the conservation of environment at the forefront of whatever they do or cherish.