By Gloria Nakiyimba
Over the years, commercial production of maize has increased and contributed partially to increased adoption of improved maize varieties by farmers provided by NAADS and other partners.
Whereas maize is predominantly a staple food crop, it is also an important cash crop contributing to household incomes and national export earnings.
Maize production statistics based on district returns to UBOS show a steady increase overtime from 1.17 million Metric Tonnes in 2001 to about 2.55 million Metric Tonnes in 2011 and above 4 million Metric tones inn 2018.
Following the significant increase in maize production, there was an outcry of lack of market from the farmer.
This prompted the government through NAADS to provide simple milling facilities at rural level. NAADS has strategically considered supporting farmers with maize milling facilities to take care of the value addition needs at rural level.
NAADS distributes milling equipment to farmers as one of the initiatives to reduce post-harvest losses as well bring value addition facilities closer to the farming households for improvement of livelihoods and rural incomes.
Apart from offering a quick market to the farmers, the milling equipment provides value addition solutions to the farmers and ultimately increases their incomes.
To date, NAADS has distributed 105 maize mills to farmers organized in farmer groups/organizations or associations/ cooperative societies.
One of the beneficiary associations is Kigumba Produce Buyers and millers’ association in Kiryandongo district.
The secretary to the association Daniel Baliddawa says with the mill they received from NAADS, they have managed to acquire land where they are to construct their permanent home, they have made some savings from which they give small loans to the members