Fort Portal Farmers’ Expo was a food and agricultural exhibition organised by Tooro Botanical Gardens (TBG) in collaboration with Countryside Environmental Conservation-Uganda (CECO-Uganda) and other partners, which took place from 4th – 9th September, 2017. The event brought together farmers, agricultural entrepreneurs, researchers, finance institutions, small scale food processors and distributors, the media, and communities to showcase innovations in food and agricultural practices.
An exhibitor presents the improvements he has made to his produce after attending a BigPicnic event in June. Photo credit: Kakaire Rajab
The six-day, farmer driven, event involved food-chain exhibitions of foods growing in the region, science cafes and co-creation sessions focussing on food production techniques, post harvest handling, transportation, storage, preparation, waste minimization and preservation. New agricultural techniques, equipment, agro-based machinery, climate smart farming methods, food crops, livestock and livestock products were also exhibited. Agricultural entrepreneurs showcased products ranging from food supplements, fruits, spices and healthy foods locally available. TBG also presented information about BigPicnic, food security and smart farming.
The King of Tooro, His Majesty Oyo Nyimba looking at communication materials developed as part of BigPicnic. Photo credit: Rajab Kakaire
The event was aimed at advancing sustainable food production in a socially just, economically viable and environmentally friendly manner to produce safe and sufficient food for the growing population.
The exhibition attracted 63 food security exhibitors and a total of 648 visitors these included: the public, civil and governmental organisations, radio and television stations and finance institutions.
Exhibitors were able to share ideas and develop partnerships. Through this collective action, they are helping each other consider local realities to create a space for safe, sustainable food production and distribution systems. Through science cafes the expo managed to encourage farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs to utilise the available knowledge and skills and integrate new expertise to enhance their position. As such, TBG managed to empower individuals, communities and food industry actors to build their sense of sustainability for a more food secure community. It has been agreed that this will become an annual event with TBG as a lead organiser.