By Vision reporter
PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has ordered an investigation into the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) following complaints that its impact on modernising the farming community is not felt.
â€œWhereas about sh46b is reportedly spent by NAADS every year, its impact is minimal and wanting. It must be investigated,â€ Museveni vowed after listening to civic, political and religious leaders from Bushenyi district who visited him at his Rwakitura home on Saturday.
â€œI am going to study, investigate, engage NAADS in a dialogue and come up with a stand on its future activities. I have not been aware about the way they have been implementing their programmes. We should find an appropriate policy towards modernising agriculture since it is the backbone of our economy,â€ Museveni told his guests.
The President had invited the leaders as part of a campaign to implement the anti-poverty programme, Bonna Baggagawale (Prosperity for All).
The MP for Ruhaama and First Lady, Janet Museveni, stressed that NAADS should consult with community leaders to establish their needs and challenges before introducing agricultural programmes.
Janet, who recently led a group of farmers from her constituency on a working trip to Kenya and Tanzania, emphasised: â€œThe government and the population are fully aware of the large amounts of money NAADS spends annually. It is very important for them to be accountable by physically showing their contribution to modernising agriculture.â€
Several leaders had complained that the agricultural body implements programmes without due consultation with local leaders. As a result, the leaders argued, they make mistakes and use massive funds without having a real impact on household incomes.
NAADS is one of the seven components under the Plan for the Modernisation of Agriculture, put in place to redress shortcomings in the provision of agricultural services.
It is a semi-autonomous body, formed to develop a demand-driven and farmer-led agricultural service delivery system, particularly targeting the poor subsistence farmers.
Implementation of NAADS started in July 2001 in six districts: Arua, Kabale, Kibaale, Mukono, Soroti and Tororo.