Mobile soil-testing van launched
Publish Date: Feb 15, 2014
Mobile soil-testing van launched
Agriculture minister Bucyanayandi, right, hands over the key of the mobile farmer’s learning centre and soil testing laboratory to Sasakawa country director, Dr. Roseline Nyamutale
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By Vision Reporter    
The agriculture ministry is to start mobile fertiliser clinics which will move in different places assessing soil nutrient deficiencies and supplying the requisite fertilisers.
According to the agriculture minister, Tress Bucyanayandi, the project is currently being piloted in the districts of Apac and Dokolo. He said the use of fertiliser and agronomics is one way Uganda can increase farm yields. 
He said this during the commissioning of the mobile farmers’ learning centre at the ministry headquarters in Entebbe.
Bucyanayandi said Uganda is one of the countries with the minimal use of fertilisers.
He said the Government policy now is to increase the use of both organic and inorganic fertilisers to boost crop productivity for commercial and domestic consumption. This, he said will improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
After Apac and Dokolo the project will roll out to Kamwenge, Mityana, Mukono, Nakaseke and Ntungamo. One of the reasons for the depletion of soil nutrients is land fragmentation.
“The lab on the truck will be able to assist in assessing actual soil nutrient deficiencies and fertiliser requirements,” Bucyanayandi said.
The equipment for the mobile fertiliser clinics worth euros 150,000 (about sh500m) donated by K+S KALI GmbH, a German fertiliser company. 
The project is implemented by Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA), a Swiss registered international agricultural development NGO and the National Agricultural Extension Services of Uganda. 
He said the innovation will reach out to more farmers and train them on improved agricultural practices, post-harvest handling, agro-processing and storage.
The SAA country director, Roseline Nyamutale, said the project has so far reached 25,000 farmers in 11 sub countries.  

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