By Patrick Jaramogi
THE national structure for agriculture extension services should be overhauled, an agriculture expert has said.
Prof. Henry Manyire of Makerere University said the duplication of extension services at local governments is a waste of government money.
“The Government needs to create a directorate for coordination. Harmonisation of the agriculture ministry and autonomous bodies, goals, objectives, workplaces and budgets is required to maximise delivery of services and resource,” he said.
Manyire was speaking at the annual Farm Power public dialogue at Hotel Africana in Kampala recently.
The annual event brings together various organisations to advocate for the right to food. Manyire, who was presenting a paper “Institutional Structure of the Agriculture Extension System”, said challenges of governance are dogging the agricultural sector.
“The agriculture ministry ought to take over the responsibility and accountability for agriculture development in the country. A specific level of coordination should be supervised by the ministry,” he said.
Agnes Kirabo, the Food Rights Alliance coordinator, said as the world celebrates the World Food Day, farmers are echoing the need to hear their plight.
“For several years farmers have been considered as the “useless” people, whose voices shouldn’t be heard, yet they provide the meals and contribute the bigger percentage of Uganda’s GDP. It is high time we hear their voices,” she said.