By Doreen Musingo
JINJA - Professor George Mondo Kagonyera, the Chancellor of Makerere University, has criticized the National Agricultural and Advisory Services (NAADS) project, saying it was poorly planned.
Most importantly, he said NAADS was not benefitting farmers.
Kagonyera noted that huge sums of money are injected in the project but there are no attainable results on ground that farmers can boast of.
Kagonyera explained that without proper and clear guidelines to steer the NAADS project it will continue failing and a lot of tax payer’s money will be put to waste.
“Government needs to review and change the policy on NAADS so that it is well implemented to benefit the local farmers because now this is a year for Uganda and Africa as a whole to curb food insecurity,’ he urged.
Kagonyera was on Friday addressing delegates from America, Germany, England, China, Japan and East African countries during the closure of a two-day symposium ‘The Borlaug Legacy for Uganda’ to mark the birth of Dr. Norman Borlaug the founding president of the Sasawaka African Association (SAA) at Jinja Nile Resort Hotel.
The delegates included the second deputy prime minister Moses Ail, Tress Bucyanayandi minister of agriculture and animal industry Rhoda Tumusiime the African Union Commissioner on rural development and agriculture, Nicephore Soglo the former president of Benin, president of the Carter Centre and Yohei Sasakawa the chairperson of the Nippon foundation.
Others were Ambassador Kenneth Quinn the president of the World Food Prize, Victoria Sekitoleko the former minister of agriculture, and Dr John Hardman the president of the Carter Foundation.
SAA emphasizes the importance of agriculture in Uganda’s economy and opportunities to offer to the youth by providing employment whilst stimulating skills and entrepreneurial activities.
Kagonyera urged government to partner with SAA which deals directly with the communities so that NAADS projects can be redesigned to suit the demands of the farmer communities.
During the same function farmers under their governing body, the East Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF) tasked their different governments to empower the existing farmer groups with skills that should ably represent them to benefit from the governments.
Phillip Kiriro the president of EAFF said that the groups that will also benefit regional communities should be well represented to maintain the value addition chain.
“We need proper representation and should maintain the concept of value addition to empower farmers at market catchment areas and also identify enterprises they can walk along,” Kiriro said.
Third Deputy Prime Minister Moses Ali however hailed SAA for their services rendered in the country saying that it has largely impacted on market and that most people are now taking agriculture as gainful employment.
“We should be proud of agriculture as a profession, feel proud of it and don’t fear to get your hands dirty because personally am an agriculturalist,” Moses Ali said.
Moses Ali noted that agriculture has improved on the livelihood of the people and that Uganda has enough water sources that can be used to boost the activities.
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NAADS poorly planned - Prof Kagonyera