NAADS executive director, Dr Samuel Mugasi, says they have made several interventions to help farmers improve productivity
Ondoma earns up to sh3m from banana sales during the peak season and sh300,000 monthly during the off-peak
In 2014, Kefa Ondoma, a 38-year-old resident of Tinakaku village in Cieba parish, Logiri subcounty in Arua district planted 500 banana suckers which he received from National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS). Today, he boasts of a sevenacre banana plantation selling each bunch between sh8,000 and sh25,000, depending on the size. Currently, Ondoma earns up to sh3m from banana sales during the peak season and sh300,000 monthly during the off-peak.
He is also a supplier of banana suckers to other banana farmers in West Nile. He sells each sucker at sh1,000. For 31-year old Johnson Odongo, a diary and fi sh farmer in Pangea Ban village in Bwatira sub-county, Gulu district, NAADS supported him with 2 in-calf heifers in 2017. He also received 700 tilapia and 800 catfi sh fi ngerlings as well as fi sh feeds in 2017.
Today, Odongo collects 15 litres of milk daily, consuming some of it at home and selling a litre at sh1,200 to the dairy and sh1,500 to those in his community.
"Life is much better now, thanks to NAADS. I am able to feed my family and take good care of them," Odongo says. Odong and Ondoma are just some of the thousands of people who have benefited from NAADS.
The NAADS executive director, Dr Samuel Mugasi, says they have made several interventions to help farmers improve productivity. Some of the interventions are management of agricultural input distribution chains, support for priority commodities under the commodity approach as well as support for multiplication of planting and stocking materials.
Other interventions are; agribusiness development, value chain development and focusing on the upper end of the chain. Proscovia Mutumba, a NAADS crop production offi cer says, the agency's food security interventions have focused on the procurement and distribution of improved planting materials to farmers in the country.
"We are looking at the major staple food crops for different regions of the country, particularly those of quick maturing nature such as maize, beans, cassava, banana and Irish potato," Mutumba says. She says, NAADS had given out maize seeds to smallholder farmers in all district local governments mostly for food security. However they are also contributing to household incomes and national export earnings. Besides the domestic market, maize is an important export crop particularly within the East African region.
Export trends show noticeable increases in both volumes and value of maize exports from 2014 to 2017. According to the Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB) report, the value of exports increased by over 100% from $47.26m in 2014 to $95.91m in 2017.