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450,000 households to benefit from group farming

By Henry Sekanjako

Added 22nd June 2017 09:09 PM

Unlike the NAADs program identified farmer groups, will be given pesticides, fertilizers, and coffee pruning equipment, among other inputs

Unlike the NAADs program identified farmer groups, will be given pesticides, fertilizers, and coffee pruning equipment, among other inputs

 

The government has rolled out the Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP), where 450,000 households dealing in the five major crops; maize, beans, rice, cassava and coffee will be facilitated.

In January this year government through the Ministry of Agriculture, launched ACDP and identified 42 districts to kick start the project, which will be implemented for the next six years.

As a pilot study, government has rolled out the project in five districts of Nebbi, Amuru, Ntungamo, Iganga and Kalungu.

"We are going to supply inputs to the farmer groups that will be identified and profiled by the Ministry of Agriculture. The main purpose for this is to boost their productivity using the main crops they are dealing in," Robert Charles Aguma, an environment specialist in the ministry told New Vision.

On Tuesday Ministry officials led by Aguma spent the day in Kalungu district, which has been identified as one of the district, for coffee group farming, interacting with farmers about the project.

Unlike the NAADs program, where farmers are given perennial crops and seedlings, under the ACDP project, identified farmer groups, will be given pesticides, fertilizers, and coffee pruning equipment, among other inputs.

"Under the coffee crop, we are targeting 110,000 coffee farmers out of the 450,000 households," Aguma explained.

Detailing the purpose of the project to Kalungu locals, Beatrice Namaloba, an agricultural officer from ministry noted that the main objective for the project is to provide farmers in the clusters with subsidized farm inputs, improve agricultural infrastructure, postharvest handling technologies and more competitive prices for inputs and outputs.

According to Namaloba, under the project, government will support farmers with easy access and use of key agriculture inputs as well as preparation for agricultural water management investment.

"We want to increase benefits for participating households through improved efficiency of farm operations, large volumes of farm production and more favourable prices for inputs and marketable products," Namaloba explained.

For the five pilot districts Kalungu district was identified for coffee growing, Nebbi for Cassava, Ntangamo for beans, Amuru for rice and Iganga for Maize.

All 42 districts will be aggregated into 12 clusters spread across all agro-ecological zones, except Karamoja.

The expansion of the project to all the districts will be done in year three of the implementation of the project.

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