Netherlands partners with Uganda to boost agriculture

By Carol Kasujja

The integrated Seed Sector Development Plus(ISSD Plus) project and the resilient Efficient Agribusiness Chains(REACH Uganda) project under the international fertilizer Development Center will run for a period of 4years.

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The Royal Dutch Embassy has partnered with Uganda to create opportunities for increased income and food security through market linkages and access to quality seed for rural households in Uganda.

The integrated Seed Sector Development Plus(ISSD Plus) project and the resilient Efficient Agribusiness Chains(REACH Uganda) project under the international fertilizer Development Center will run for a period of 4years.

Speaking at the official launch of the two projects at his residence in Kololo Hank Jan Bakker, the ambassador of the Netherlands highlighted that the two projects will follow the agricultural value chain right from inception, by providing access to quality seed to mainly rural farmers and to end chain of providing market linkages for the farmers to the consumers of their produce.

The ambassador added that this will particularly be achieved through the promotion of quality declared seed(QDS) which is high quality seed produced professionally by farmer group for sale within their farming communities and facilitating smallholder farmers to operate in a more market-driven manner by producing what they can sell profitably.

"In addition to providing quality seed, the issue of climate change will also be tackled through the dissemination of climate smart varieties and other technologies that go with it.

This will greatly be facilitated by the mutual partnership with NARO in the implementation of the ten million Euro ISSD Plus project as NARO is the main source of agricultural technologies in Uganda," he said.

(REACH Uganda) project worth 10.8million Euros will improve market engagement for over 40,000 market oriented farmers in Kigezi, the lake kyoga basin and the Sebei region, with the objectives to achieve full engagement with the private sector and to integrate small holder rice and potato farmers into commercial supply chains using the making markets work for the poor(M4P) approach.

M4P seeks to change the way that markets work, so that poor people are included in the benefits of growth and economic development, creating large scale, lasting benefits for the poor.

Addressing journalist, Ephraim Kamuntu, the minister of Tourism expressed optimism for the extension of the ISSD Project into new regions of Bugisu, Bukedi, Kigezi and the Western highlands.

He said that the collaboration with MAAIF seed quality assurance at grass root level is also very welcome to ensure the high quality standards of the locally produced seed.

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