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Districts asked to specialise in two agricultural commodities

By Violet Nabatanzi

Added 29th March 2019 07:55 PM

The national coordinator Share an Opportunity in Uganda, Florence Suubi attributed the poor quality of agricultural produce to lack of technical people to guide farmers.

Districts asked to specialise in two agricultural commodities

The commissioner for agriculture extension and skills management Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries Patience Rwamigisa chatting with the National Coordinator of Share an Opportunity in Uganda, Florence Suubi during a breakfast meeting in Kampala. PHOTO: Violet Nabatanzi

The national coordinator Share an Opportunity in Uganda, Florence Suubi attributed the poor quality of agricultural produce to lack of technical people to guide farmers.

 
The ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries ((MAAIF)) has directed districts to specialise in only two Agricultural commodities. 
 
"We have realised that farmers keep on jumping from one commodity to another because of market failures. We want farmers to specialise and concentrate on a commodity and perfect it. Until farmers specialise then we shall never get quality commodities,'' the commission for Agriculture extension and Skills management (MAAIF) Patience Rwamigisa said. 
 
Rwamigisa disclosed that her ministry has created an agriculture extension conditional grant of sh39.6bn that is going to be allocated to local governments adding that part of the grant will support the districts that have selected two commodities.
 
He said out of 127 districts only five districts had submitted the commodities they wanted to specialise in. Among them are Kayunga, Abim and Ngora districts among others. Kayunga district selected Dairy and coffee farming.
 
Speaking during a breakfast meeting organised by Share an Opportunity Uganda, a non-governmental organisation in Kampala, Rwamigisa added that they gave districts a condition that they must produce council minutes showing that the districts council has pronounced itself on particular commodities.
 
"We don't want districts to simply sit as technical personnel and declare that these are two commodities we have selected, we want the decision to pass through a political process and produce the council minutes," he added.
 
He revealed that subsistence farming is just for survival and that is why they came up with this new programme on specialisation.
 
Rwamigisa also said that at the moment, the country needs a minimum of 12,000 extension workers working with smallhold farmers.
 
He said the government had previously proposed to start with 5,000 extension workers because of budget constraints, they have only recruited 3,800 extension workers.
 
The national coordinator Share an Opportunity in Uganda, Florence Suubi attributed the poor quality of agricultural produce to lack of technical people to guide farmers.
 
"We have low production as a result of not having direction from extension services workers. Farmers need extension workers to give them knowledge on good farming practices because they know how best they can deal with crop diseases," she said.
 
She called for a need for parliament to allocate appropriate funds to help farmers improve on the quality of what they produce. 

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