In the morning hours of Saturday, November 25th, 2023 student members of the iSOFT Club embarked on a day-long study tour facilitated by the UNESCO-CFIT to Kitara Hills Farm in Isingiro District and Namaya Poultry Farm in Kakoba Division, Mbarara City. The Study and Skilling tour was facilitated under UNESCO-CFIT Activity 23 which aims to conduct skilling sessions for students.
The skilling tour started with a visit to Kitara Hills farm where the students learned several agricultural skills that included rabbit keeping, modern crop growing, and modern irrigation methods. At Kitara Hills Farm, the students were first taken through lessons on modern rabbit keeping. They were taken to a modern rabbit shed in which over 200 rabbits are currently being reared under state-of-the-art conditions and modern science techniques. The students were given tips on how to keep rabbits for sustainable business outcomes. The students were also shown products that can be generated from rabbit keeping such as fertilizer from rabbit urine, rabbit skin, and rabbit meat which can be sold to generate income. In addition to this, the students learned about the different breeds of rabbits, cage construction, vaccination against diseases, and disease control among rabbits.
The students were then taken to the crop unit of the farm. In the Crop unit, students were taken through areas where the vegetables are grown. They were practically taught nursery bed care and management as well as establishment, soil erosion management, optimizing land spaces for maximum production, and disease control among crops. The students were also skilled in Watermelon growing from the watermelon site at Kitara Hills farm. The students were shown modern irrigation methods employed at Kitara Hills Farm that include gravitation flow and a solar-powered water engine to spray the crops during the dry season. The students concluded their skilling tour at Kitara Hills Farm by paying a visit to the orchard where Mangoes are being grown. The different Mango trees including the local variety as well as the grafted trees were shown to the students and the importance of fruit growing that ranges from commercial benefits to helping combat climate change was discussed.
From Kitara Hills Farm in Isingiro, the students embarked on a journey to Namanya Poultry Farm in Kakoba Division, Mbarara City. At Namanya Poultry Farm, the students were welcomed by the staff and given a brief class on poultry keeping including the different types of poultry birds as well as the pros and cons of the different poultry keeping systems. The students were then practically skilled in fed mixing for layer birds, feeding layer birds as well as vaccination and disease prevention in birds.