Top Agriculture Champions Recognized at Annual Agriculture Awards

The Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry has awarded Uganda’s top agriculture stars. The awards ceremony held at Imperial Royale Hotel is the first of its kind in Uganda, bringing together players from different fields of service in the agriculture sector.

According to the organizers, the awards are aimed at recognizing and motivating current players and inspire new entrants in the agricultural sector. The grand awards event attended by over 250 participants was graced by top notch CEOs of organizations associated with sector.

According to Grace Musimami the CEO of Annual Agriculture Awards, the awards aim at setting a culture of appreciating good service and ensuring good motivation for all players.

“We have given the farmer the due appreciation they deserve but the farmer does not do it alone. We have scientists, teachers, extension workers, policy makers, financers, and other players, without whom the farmer can never flourish. With this in mind, we started this award to recognize all players involved”, added Musimami.

The Annual Agriculture awards were organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, in partnership with United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Bank Of Uganda, Sasakawa Africa Association, Centenary Bank and Agri-Insurance Consortium.

During the Award ceremony, the Chief Guest, State Minister for Animal Industry Hon Bright Rwamirama, urged all sector Players to work with zeal to ensure their works are recognized adding that the culture to appreciate good deeds is one that will help ensure good service delivery and also kill the spirit of corruption.

“For long we have been appreciating farmers alone, I am glad now every sector player is on the watch on what he or she is doing. We need to appreciate each other. Most vices have come up because our people do not have the spirit of confidence in themselves. At this same platform we should also plan to display those failing the sector ‘’, urged the minister.

The minister appreciated the organizers and committed to support activities geared towards building this award initiative.

The Country Director, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Antonio Querido, applauded the organizers of the agriculture awards for recognizing the food heroes citing their greater contribution to economies.

He expressed continued commitment to supporting the awards in future.

“Am happy to be part of the agriculture awards 2021 and to join agriculture sector stakeholders to recognize our food heroes. The role of farmers is paramount and FAO is committed to supporting the next awards ceremonies to come. Congratulations to the winners” he said

Minister Rwamirama

Retired Major Hon. Bwiino Kyakulaga, the State Minister for Agriculture and Patron of the Awards thanked all partners who supported in organizing the awards. He said this being a new initiatives, it was hard to sell the concept to partners. He assured the participants that he was committed to ensuring the next awards shall cover broader areas.

Dr John Jagwe, the AGRA Country Manager, speaking as a partner, highlighted AGRA’s support to Uganda, saying AGRA had invested a lot in different areas, these included, policy formulation and implementation, seed industry development, Farmer organization capacity development and ensuring broader food system advocacy. He welcomed the idea about awards and committed AGRA’s continued support to the cause.

The Annual Agricultural Awards 2021 were designed to highlight the importance of agriculture development in line with the 2014 African Union Malabo declaration that calls for importance to highlight agriculture. The Awards focused on appreciating individuals, organizations, districts, agencies and companies that have steadily, effectively and accurately enhanced the value of agriculture in Uganda over the years.

The awards were split into two sections; the People’s choice and the Jury awards. According to Aron Muhame, One of the judges of the awards, the criteria used for winners were based on over 60,000 votes from the public for the 17 categories, as well as verified data about the nominee.

The key awards in the People’s choice category  included: Best scientists-Agricultural Research, 2021 Extension Worker Award of the Year, Agribusiness and Agriprenuer Award 2021, 2021 Policy makers’ Award (aims to motivate policy advocacy, Golden Jubilee Agricultural Award (Focusing on contributions to agricultural development in last 50years), Exceptional Personalities and change Champions award, Agri-Media Awards , Agri-Insurance Award among others.


Category                                                              Winner                         Total Votes

2021 Extension Public Service Award     .   Mr. Patrick Okware                 1200

2021 Private Extension Award                  .   Nantume Hajarah                    1189

2021 Farmers Award                                       Nsamba Christopher               1100

2021 AgriMedia Awards of the year               Joshua Kato                             1120

Michael Sali                            1120

Agri-Insurance Award.                                    Jubilee Holdings Ltd               1300

Agro Financers Award 2021                           Centenary Bank                       2000

Agri – Tech Awards                                        Akello Banker                          1500

2021 Agri-Partners Recognition Awards       Sasakawa Africa Association   1100

2021 Agro Dealers Award                            Bukoola Chemicals                   1800

2021 Seed Companies                                   Equator Seeds Limited              1400

Agriculture Education Award                        Bukalasa Agricultural College 1800

2021 Farmers Organization Award-               ZABTA                                   1400

Food systems Award                                  Agnes Kirabo                              1800

Fisheries Award                                            Ezra Byakola                       1800

Livestock Development Award                    Paul Sembeguya                  1000

Youth in Agribusiness                                   Nyakaisiki Annet                1600

The second part of Awards was the jury awards. These were selected by an eminent panel of judges from the private sector, government, retired public servants, researchers, and academia. The award winners included:

  1. Her Excellency Rhoda Peace Tumusiime. She previously worked as Agricultural Officer at the Ministry, then Commissioner Planning department, after which she joined the African Union Commission as a Director. She was also elected Commissioner for the Department of Rural Economy and Environment (DREA). Rhoda served at the African Union Commission as Commissioner for eight years leaving a reputation of excellence in service. During her time she is remembered for championing the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture development Programme (CAADP) and ensuring many African countries commit to the Maputo declaration of 2003 and Malabo declaration of 2014.

“ I thank the organizers for giving me this award, it was unexpected, I have been back home for two years now, and no one ever thought to appreciate my works , I am glad this has been coming, many years we talked with Grace about the need to recognize and utilize retired resources, they are not tired but just retired, we need to rethink the tradition of retirement in public service. People can still be useful to the country and continent, this award is an inspiration to many. We look forward to many more people being recognized, am glad this tradition to appreciate has finally started,” said Rhoda upon receipt of her Award.

  1. Dr Jolly Kabirizi-Retired researcher with NARO, now practicing lead farmer and trainer. She is behind development of different forages for livestock in Uganda and has developed different feeding manuals for farmers.
  2. Hon.Victoria sekitoleko. She is a former Minister for Agriculture in Uganda. She also worked with the Food and Agriculture Organization as Country Representative in Zimbabwe, and other countries and later in China in the same role. . She has since retired in Uganda but continues to focus on pushing for agriculture development. She is currently the vice chairperson of Private Sector Foundation and Director at Uganda Agribusiness Alliance.
  3. Boaz Blackie Keizire- Awarded the Policy Maker recognition award, for his service in pushing policy agenda at continental level. Boaz is an agricultural Economist, a former lecturer at Makerere University, he was Assistant Commissioner at Ministry of Agriculture ,department of planning, later briefly joined the National Planning Authority before joining the African Union Commission department of rural economy as GIZ special expert. He was elevated to Director of the department briefly and later joined alliance for green revolution in Africa. Boaz has been key technical person in scaling the CAADP agenda in Africa. He is Director Policy at AGRA based in Nairobi.

“I am humbled and surprised, I did not know I was being awarded tonight, I thank the panel of judges, this I never expected from my country since I have spent almost 10 years serving Africa. Like they mentioned, I never stopped representing my country to greater heights. My best wish has always been pushing African countries implement continental policies but also saying Uganda should be exemplary to the bigger world. I commit to continue serving Africa and Uganda .I have worked under bosses that have mentored me become who I am today and I dedicate this award to them, first is my former boss Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, Hon Bright Rwamirama , late kisamba Mugerwa and my current boss Agnes Kalibata. I thank my dear wife for supporting me through this journey, she has pushed me to move forward and serve while others would first put their interests first. Thank you Fiona, thank you Uganda.”

  1. Dr Silim Nandhy: he is a retired agriculture scientist, former Director of Kawanda agricultural research. While in Kawanda Dr silim pioneered the grafted Mangoes. Having imported some few from South Africa SUL Institute, together with some colleagues Dr Silim wrote a project proposal to World Bank to start the NAADS Programme, he was first Executive director of NAADS Programme. He is founder of the African forum for Agriculture Advisory services, an organization that brings together Extension service providers in Africa. He is also one of the founder members and now board member of the Global forum for agriculture advisory services (GFRAAS).

“I have served my country diligently, I never knew someone would ever recognize me, the tradition over the years died not consider public service and appreciated service, I am humbled. This is a national recognition for what I have been doing, I thank the people who thought I ought to be appreciated. I pray young researchers pick it up and dedicate their energy to serving diligently. One day they will also be appreciated” said Dr Silim upon receiving his award.

6.Honorable Okasai Opolot, he is retired agriculture officer, served as Assistant Commissioner at the department of crop protection before being elevated to Director Crop directorate, a position he held until retirement. Okasai is remembered for introducing plant clinics in Uganda among other many things, he is currently Member of Parliament and State Minister for Energy.

“ I have never left agriculture, I am glad being recognized for my efforts over the years, even now as I am with the energy sector, I still feel agriculture as my home. I am humbled and this is a surprise, thank you” upon receiving his award.

  1. Ntanda Ahmed-a driver of the bus with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ntanda since 1992 has been driving the Ministry bus picking staff from Wandegeya to Entebbe every day without fail. On record it has become hard to trace a day Ntanda has not picked staff or dropped them back in Kampala. He is dedicated employee of the Ministry and deserved to be recognized to inspire the next generation of drivers.

“I am grateful for this recognition, this is dedicated to all young drivers working in public service, someone somewhere will recognize your good behavior and patience and in future you will be appreciated. “ said Ntanda upon receiving his award

8.The Life time Agriculture Award was the crown award of the night and went out to the Late James Mulwana who was recognized for their sustainable contribution to the sector. Jesa started out as a family milk business and has grown into an East African brand. The award was received by His Son Mr Geoffrey Mulwana and Daughter Prim Mulwana. In their appreciation speech Geoffrey thanked the organizers, the judges and the Ministry for recognizing their father’s deeds nine years after his demise. They committed to uphold the brand and not to disappoint their father’s efforts.

The awards were attended by four Ministers: Minister of State for Fisheries – Hon Hellen Adoa, Minister of State Energy – Hon Okasai Opolot , the Patron Hon Bwino Kyakulaga and State Minister for Agriculture and Hon Bright Rwamirama.

The 2021 Awards were organized by United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Agriculture insurance Consortium, USAID, Bank of Uganda, Sasakawa Africa Association, Centenary Bank, Farmers Media, Farmwise communications Limited and Ministry of Agriculture.

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