For the second year in a row, FarmWeek reporter and Guild Member Chris McCullough has been picked as one of 15 journalists from around the world to report on the agri-food industry in Africa.
Following a very successful trip to Kenya on the Exposure-4-Development tour in 2012, Chris will now travel with fellow Guild Member Liz Wright (see separate story) to Uganda to report on various aspects of the industry there.
“It is a real pleasure to once again be picked to report from Africa,” says Chris, who applied as a member of the agricultural journalists Guild in Northern Ireland. “Uganda has a lot to offer in terms of agriculture and I hope to bring FarmWeek readers news from the tour in a series of reports in the paper and to a wider audience in a series of blogs on my own facebook page, the FarmWeek facebook page, and the IFAJ facebook page.
“I first reported from Uganda eight years ago and it will be interesting to see how and if the place has changed,” he adds. “It’s not an easy place to arrange visits and to get around, but the organisers are putting every effort into making this trip enjoyable and one not to forget.”
The tour is being organised by the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ), AgriCord (the agricultural development agency organisation), and Agriterra, the Dutch development agency that supports the progress of agriculture in developing countries.
The six-day tour of farms and agri-businesses in Uganda will explore beyond the poverty to report on a vibrant continent full of initiatives and business opportunities.
“The organisers are arranging visits to hotspots where fighting poverty is real and ongoing and where farmer-led initiatives are developed to improve the economic position of farmers,” says Chris. “The itinerary includes dairy cooperatives, dairy farmers and milk processing companies; vegetable and fruit growers – both smallholders and cooperative processors; tobacco farms and processors, and fish production units.
Chris adds: “Last year’s tour of Kenya was really interesting and I learned a lot there. The tour went off exceptionally well and the group bonded well too. The Uganda tour has a very steep slope to climb to be any better than the Kenya one, but let’s see.”