Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Garden Hoe Can Lift Farmers Out of Poverty

from All Africa

New Vision (Kampala)

By John Kasozi

DENIS Kaijabahoire, an agronomist with Dunavant Uganda got it right when he said: "The destruction of small scale farmers in Uganda by giving them only tractors in the name of modernisation and depriving them of simple garden tools like hoes, is pushing them to absolute poverty."

Kaijabahoire, who has been at the forefront of revitalising cotton farming in northern Uganda, says these simple farming tools have given new life to over 30,000 internally displaced people.

Scarcity of these tools leads to scarcity of labour, ultimately decreasing agricultural production, as young farmers migrate from rural areas to urban centres to look for alternative employment.

Recognising the importance agriculture plays in the economy of Uganda and in supporting rural livelihoods, a number of companies came up with the idea to make their places one-stop shopping centres for farmers.

Oliver Xu, the sales manager of Tianjin Machinery Company Uganda says the only way to keep our people in the countryside, is to make life better for them there.

"Help them to access simple farming tools like hoes, pangas, spades, rakes, axes, slashers, forks and sickles, which are genuine and at a low cost."

Founded in 1995, Tianjin Uganda is a registered sole agent and supplier of Cock brand hoes, Diamond brand pangas and Flying swallow spades in many African countries. Xu added that their products are genuine, complying with the company's number one policy. Tianjin, one of the biggest suppliers in the region also supplies rice milling machines and oil expellers. The expeller extracts oil from cotton and sunflower seeds.

Martin Meng, the manager of Honest Treasure International says they are the agents and sole distributors for Ngombe Brand Jembe since 2004, formerly branded as "Silver" brand Cock.

"Ngombe Brand Jembe is the same as Silver brand Cock brand class 8," he explains.

Meng says they supply similar farming tools in Sudan, eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, northern Tanzania and Burundi. "Since it was unveiled in December, Ngombe brand Jembe has been accepted by the farmers."

The Ngombe hoe has proved to be of good quality and long lasting, with no difference from the silver brand. It is a brand of high quality steel of British technology.

"These products have become household names in eastern and central Africa," notes Meng.

Xu and Meng say they could supply all the types, sizes and amount of farming tools any time a request is put forward to them.

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