By Francis Emorut
Government is restructuring National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) and district extension workers into a directorate in order to enhance service delivery a government official has revealed.
“Currently NAADS has its own structures up to the sub-county level and government wants to harmonize it with the district extension staff to become one single unit to ensure effective service delivery,” Godfrey Wakula, Kivunike the acting assistant commissioner policy analysis in the ministry of agriculture disclosed.
He was addressing participants during a public dialogue on “Women influencing quality service delivery: A best Practice of Local communities.”
The dialogue took place at Hotel Africana in Kampala on Thursday.
It was organized by Uganda Women’s Network and supported by Austrian Development Cooperation.
The agriculture advisory agency has been on spotlight for inefficiency and has been riddled with corruption to the extent that President Museveni wants the agency scrapped.
Kivunike explained to the participants comprised of Uganda Christian University, Makerere University, Kyambogo University, Kampala International University students’ civil society organizations and development partners that government was looking at a possibility of forming what he termed as “a single spine system” to serve the farming communities.
This means that agricultural extension workers at the districts will be amalgamated into a new system and will be controlled by the directorate.
He said the ministry has been criticized of poor service delivery and yet the extension service workers have not been reporting to the ministry but to the district councils.
He said this reporting system must change.
He pointed out that that’s why harmonization of extension service actors is paramount to ensure effective service delivery.
Kivunike told the New Vision on the sidelines of the cocktail that the directorate is in the offing to take charge of NAADS activities.
Participants tasked government officials to explain why service delivery in the sectors of agriculture, health, education, road and water and sanitation are wanting across the country.
Kivunike appealed to civil society organizations to have a joint monitoring and evaluation team with government officials to improve the quality of service delivery in the sectors mentioned above.
Charles Opio, the commissioner in the ministry of works and transport, told the audience that designated district leaders are supposed to produce quarterly reports but deliver them late and this has hampered service delivery in the road sector.
Kivunike and Opio concurred that inadequate funding was one of the factors causing poor service delivery and proposed increased budget to alleviate the situation.
Rita Aciro, the executive director of Uganda Women’s Network, emphasized the need to empower women since they are the ones who till the land and put food on the table.
She argued that without empowering women the country risks food insecurity given that the climatic conditions have changed.