As part of a series of the practical training courses, SPGS organized and successfully ran a Weed Control Training course at Bukenya Foundation Motel in Luweero from 17th to 21st August 2014. Nileply Woods (U) ltd (contracted SPGS client in Nakasongola) hosted us for the field/practical sessions of the training.
The course was aimed at equipping forest contractors and forest managers/supervisors with modern practical skills in weed control with particular emphasis on practical aspects of chemical weeding, planning and budgeting and productivity in all the weed control operations.
The training was 90% practical and only 10% theory. The content covered included weed infestation prevention, planning, budgeting and labor balancing; weed control programs, practical exercise in manual weeding operations (spot hoeing and slashing); introduction to chemical weeding, calibration, tasking and productivity, responsible use and storage of chemicals (including use of proper PPEs, chemical toxicity etc), and spraying equipment including the different types of knapsacks and nozzles. The concept of Productivity, standards and proper supervision in all operations was emphasized. All participants had enough time and tools to practices.
This time round, we invited service providers of spraying equipment (Braz Afric) and chemicals (MTK) to provide more information on issues of usage, maintenance, storage of spraying equipment and also differentiating between
counterfeiter product and original products.
Also every evening participants had time to watch training videos made by SPGS on various the aspects of commercial farming, these included pruning, thinning and weed control. This gave them much exposure and understanding of various issues not shared during classroom or field work.
The training ended with the award of certificates to the trainees. The trainees were accessed on their active participation in the field and classroom exercises, (completion of task), team work, time keeping, and discipline among other things. Were Julius, a forest manager of Jonathan Ssekikongo in Nakasongola district emerged as the best trainee and winner of a Brand new knapsack.
The European Union has for the last 10 years played a key role in supporting the private sector to establish commercial timber plantations in Uganda, through the Sawlog Production Grant Scheme (SPGS). On the 13th August 2014, the EU head of delegation to Uganda, his Excellency ambassador Kristian Schmidt, visited Mityana and Mubende on a mission to tour some of SPGS supported projects. The ambassador was accompanied by a delegation from the ministry of Water and Environment, Ministry of Finance and Economic planning, National Forestry Authority, Uganda Timber Growers Association and SPGS.
The delegation visited the following projects;
Kisaana clonal nursery; Kisana Clonal Nursery is owned by Abubaker Mwima. Formerly an employee of Uganda Gatsby Trust, managing the Gatsby tree biotechnology project in Uganda, Abubaker left Uganda Gatsby Trust in 2012 to start his own business, managing his own clonal eucalyptus nursery. He is an SPGS certified commercial tree nursery operator producing 1,000,000 seedlings annually and employing over 50 workers.
New Forests Poles/New Forests Company (NFC); New Forests Company (NFC) is one of the four multinational forest companies in Uganda. Since 2004, the company has planted 3,000 ha of both pines and eucalyptus, with support from SPGS, with plantations in Mubende, Kiboga, and Bugiri, both on Central Forest Reserves and Private land. NFC has however planted over and above the SPGS supported area, using own resources. New Forests Company ventured into value addition and opened a pole treatment plant; New Forests Poles in Mityana. The company buys poles from local farmers and also from own plantations, treats and sells both to local and international markets. New Forests Company is FSC certified
NEWS OF THE COMMERCIAL FORESTRY
SECTOR IN UGANDA
SPGS: Supporting private tree growers since 2004