Last Updated on: 4th February 2023, 09:34 pm
The agriculture sector remains one of the biggest employers in the country and as known, it is the backbone of the country’s economy.
In 2021, the agriculture sector contributed around 23.84 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Uganda, Trading Economics says, adding that 27.15 per cent came from the industry and 41.85 per cent from the services sector.
The country’s farming sector is “co-managed”. National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries (MAAIF) are key managers of the sector.
So, what are the current NAADS priorities? Last month the agricultural body said it’s working with large-scale farmers with land of 50 acres and above to promote large-scale production of priority commodities like hass avocado, macadamia nut and oil seeds.
During the meeting that was organised by the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS),
Speaking during one of the meetings organised by NAADS in January, the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities and Member of Parliament for Mwenge County Central Tom Butime said, “If Ugandans embrace hass avocado and macadamia growing, the two crops will go a long way to improve their incomes and also to save Uganda’s economy.”
“The Government of Uganda through NAADS is supporting the implementation of an intervention for promoting/scaling of emerging high-value strategic commodities notably, hass avocado and macadamia under the nucleus farmer partnership strategy,” information from NAADS said.
“NAADS started the implementation of the intervention in season B 2022 with the distribution of 103,362 hass avocado seedlings and 29,234 macadamia seedlings in 42 implementing districts under a co-funding arrangement. In this arrangement, the government through NAADS pays for 70% of the cost of the seedling while the remaining 30% is paid by the farmer,” Executive Director of NAADS Dr Samuel Mugasi, said.
“The co-funding approach is not new in the implementation of government programmes. In our previous interventions we were giving planting materials free of charge to farmers, however, the most farmer never valued these materials and left them to go to waste. We have learnt from this experience and in order to have a sustainable intervention, farmers need to own the programme by contributing a percentage of the cost of the seedlings,” Dr Mugasi told the meeting.
According to State Minister for Agriculture Fred Bwino Kyakulaga, hass avocado and macadamia have the potential to increase the revenue of Ugandans on both the local and international market, urging farmers to embrace the two crop varieties because they are highly marketable and profitable compared to other crops.
MP Wamakuyu Ignatius said Parliament is committed to supporting the growth of the two high-value crops.
Also a member of the budget committee at parliament, Wamakuyu said he was going to table a proposal to increase taxes on imported edible oils to promote the local production of vegetable oils.
Some texts and quotes have been picked from the NAADS official website.