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Agriculture needs more support

By Vision Reporter

Added 19th February 2009 03:00 AM

The New Vision has been running a series of articles on how small scale farmers are earning a living from farming.

The New Vision has been running a series of articles on how small scale farmers are earning a living from farming.

There have been stories of pineapples, garlic, dairy and fruit farmers most of whom started with small initial capital.

These successful farmers have ranged from primary school drop-outs, retired UN officials to PhD holders. The common denominators seem to be their love for agriculture, their desire to make their farms work commercially and the connection between knowledge and effort.

It was also heartening to see that in many instances the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) had some useful input.

The farmers profiled could form the nucleus of a commercial agriculture revolution except that the support from the relevant government institutions is either insufficient or lacking all together.

The nurturing of big agricultural concerns elsewhere in the world was done systematically and does not happen by mistake.

For big agricultural concerns to take root in Uganda issues of land tenure, transport infrastructure, education curriculum, research, marketing, agro-processing and other support industries like packaging have to be addressed. And these issues have to be tackled simultaneously and not sequentially.

These farmers have shown an ability to grow their businesses from nothing to beyond subsistence but their further development will be hindered by the absence of an executable, national strategy for the commercialisation of agriculture.
And the benefits of a more determined effort on agriculture are clear in terms of job creation, increased rural incomes and greater productivity.

It is a fallacy to believe that our industrialisation drive will be fuelled by something else other than agriculture and the sooner we wake up to this fact the better for the majority of our people.

Let us employ more strategic thinking and direct more resources into agriculture if we are serious about poverty eradication in this country.

Agriculture needs more support

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