Agro Tourism in Uganda
Uganda is known for many things and as the nickname of food basket suggests, it has joined other countries and ventured into agro tourism. Many people will ask what agro tourism is all about and it is going to be explained in this article.
Agro tourism also known as Agri tourism is on a rise in Uganda. The country is experiencing fast urbanization and the farmers also have to keep up if they want to the trending world. Agro tourism works very well for both the locals and international tourists.
Agro tourism in Uganda is on the rise but we go any further we should first try to understand what Agro tourism means and when it was introduced in Uganda. The definition of agro tourism should at last have the following characters so that we all get to know its real meaning.
It is a combination of tourism and agriculture.
It is where specific crops are grown on a large scale for tourism purposes first and then sold off to earn income.
Agro tourism in Uganda is mainly carried out in the Country and it has started attracting many tourists who go on safaris to see the beautiful gardens that are always on display for both the locals and the tourists who visit to see the different techniques that are used in farming in Uganda.
There are different farms in Uganda that are meant for agro tourism and most of these are owned by individuals who want to earn some extra income to boost their farms. A few of these farms have been listed below so that we get to know what they do and the crops that are planted in the area.
The pearl of Africa Farm
The pearl of Africa farm is located at Banda Wakiso along Hoima road and it is an integrated farm that deals in different agricultural practices. The farm also shows people on how to exploit the environment without damaging it for future use and it shares the modern farming techniques, share information with the locals about integrated farming and so much more. There are different crops that are planted here and some of them include:
Forest farming is carried out on the farm and many trees have been planted and these include Mango trees, Bamboo, pine trees, avocado trees, Jack fruit trees, eucalyptus trees, Orange trees, Musizi trees and many more other local species.
The forests are on a large scale and they have been planted to help in Forestation. Even if they are used to preserve the environment, tourists visit the area to see the different tree species that are located in the area.
Backyard farming is also carried out in the area and one may ask what backyard farming is. This is where the crops grown in small plastics in the backyard and these are mainly vegetables that are grown to supplement one’s diet.
The crops that are grown can be sold and tourists can visit the garden to see how manure is put on the crops, learn how to set it up and also purchase some of the fresh vegetables.
The food crops that are grown in the area provide food to the owners of the farms and the locals and visitors to the place can also get the chance to purchase fresh food crops from the farm. Some of these food crops include sugarcanes, cassava, bananas, arrowroots, stevia, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes and many more other crops.
Fish farming has become a trending agricultural practice in Uganda. This is because of the increased demand of fish on the Ugandan market. The most common type of fish that is reared is the cat fish and Cray fish. There are numerous ponds that have been constructed and you will be able to get to know how the ponds are constructed, how the fishlings are chosen and how the fish is kept without losing many of them. A guided tour will leave you with ideas on how to start you own fish farm and supplement on your income.
The pineapple farm in Luweero
Luweero is located almost 75 kilometers from the city center Kampala and this is where the pineapple farm is located. The garden sit on four acres and it is mostly visited by the Asians. Many operators and tourists visit the farm to hunt for the ripe and ready pineapples with their sharp knives.
Agro tourism was introduced in Uganda in 2018 and this started with the launch of the Luweero Pineapple far. The Luweero pineapple farm has since attracted many people who travel to see how the pineapples are cared for and how they are planed. The target market for the introduction of the farm s china and that is why locals are enraged to learn the farming techniques o that the produce is supposed to be high.
The farm has different trained tour guides that can take you through the farm while explaining in detail everything that you see. When you arrive at the farm, each visitor is given a knife or machete and then they are told to go for ripe pineapples. When they return from the hunt, the farm managers assess all the pineapples that have been harvested and the person who has the biggest and ripest pineapple is rewarded with a gift for the hard work.
There are also several other farms that can promote agro tourism and these include
The coffee farms are all over the country and a good business venture for both income and tourism purpose. The most grown coffee in Uganda is Arabica coffee and t mostly grows along the slopes of mountain Elgon. Visiting the farms leaves one with information on how the coffee is grown and the various ways of how it is harvested and packed before being sold. Coffee can be exported and the farms visited by the different tourists bringing extra income for the government.
Cotton farms are not common as they used to be in Uganda and this has made the remaining few a place worth visiting. Most people in Uganda have lived an urban life and do not know how cotton is planted and how it is harvested. Visiting these farms is the only chance one can get to know almost everything about cotton from the planting process to the harvesting season.
The growing of cocoa has become one of the main agricultural practices in Uganda. Tourists and the local people get a chance to visit the cocoa farms and learn about the different types of cocoa, how cocoa is planted, the harvesting period and the marketing strategies that are used by the farmers to sell their produce.
You also get to enjoy the picking of the cocoa from the gardens and also buy some at a cheap price before they are transported to the markets.
There are various tea plantations in the country and these are acting as agro tourism farms. Many people have travelled just to see how tea looks like especially when still in the gardens and how it is planted. The tea plantations are a source of income to the farmers and revenue to the government after sale and visitors get a guided tour through the plantations, help in picking the tea leaves and learn about the processing factors too.
This is mostly done in Western Uganda where people rear cattle most. Western Uganda has mostly the cattle species of the long horned cattle which are reared for both meat and milk. The cattle farms are now used for tourist purposes where one opens his or her farm to the public and they pay a small stipend to see the different characters of cattle, how they are fed, milked and how their manure is used for fertilization.
Importance of agro tourism in Uganda
Agro tourism presents a new source of revenue for the government of Uganda.
Agro tourism also provides an opportunity to the farmers to market directly with clients hence improving on their standards of living.
Agro tourism has helped in preserving agriculture land for future purposes.
Agro tourism has helped in provision of employment to the local people because of the increase of the local taxes collected.
Agro tourism also helps in educating the masses about the new techniques that can be used to improve on the agriculture sector in Uganda.
Agro tourism in Uganda is on the rise and given good conditions, it will be the highlight for most of the tourists who visit Uganda in the next few years. It is a good venture for the country and if you are planning your trip to Uganda, be sure you do not miss out on the safari packages that offer a tour to the different farms that are located in the different areas of the country.