The New Year, 2022, has come with some challenges for farmers. The cost of farming is now a lot higher than before when one thinks of the rising prices of inputs such as pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers.

The fuel prices have gotten a lot higher recently resulting in higher transport costs that will present difficulties in marketing farm products, not to mention other issues like pumping water for irrigation, and transporting livestock droppings and other organic manure to crop fields, among other issues. Such challenges are bound to result in reduced profits for farmers.

Every passing year we tend to see more negative effects of climate change; unpredictable weather patterns, floods, prolonged droughts, and new crop diseases that have no known cure. Yet our fast growing population presents a bigger demand for food and our countryโ€™s economy still heavily depends on agriculture.

To continue to be productive amid such challenges farmers must resort to smarter methods of farming. They must learn more about the art and science of organising a farm business ; when to plant, soil depletion prevention, crop spacing, disease and pest control, livestock nutrition, marketing, and business acumen.

They will need to seek knowledge and information about farm management, especially regarding new technologies on pest and disease control, rainwater conservation, and how to effectively carry out a farming business on a small piece of land.

To access the knowledge, farmers should work more closely with extension service workers, and pay more attention to the media because nowadays newspapers such as Saturday Monitor, websites like Farmers Trend and television stations like NTV have special magazines and TV programs that provide useful information on farming (Seeds of Gold).

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Another source of agricultural information is visiting farmersโ€™ shows and agri tours. At the shows, farmers and manufacturers of farm inputs display various products that are meant to boost farm production.

The shows are also often an opportunity for farmers to share experiences. Farmers are further encouraged to seek information and knowledge from agricultural research institutions. At the institutes, agricultural scientists normally keep demonstration gardens and livestock breeds meant to be examples for farmers to copy from.

Mr Mischael Ssali is a veteran journalist,
[email protected]

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