Verification exercise for Planting materials begins ahead of Planting season

By Gloria Nakiyimba

The National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) and the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) has commenced the verification exercise for seeds and seedlings ahead of the planting season that is expected to begin in March 2021.

As farmers wait for stable rains to begin planting, NAADS has commenced the verification of seeds and seedlings that will be distributed to farmers under the Government initiative to contribute to the transformation of the agricultural sector through the provision of agricultural inputs, agribusiness and value chain development for improved household food security and incomes.

The Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Hon. Vincent Ssempijja recently warned farmers to desist from early planting of their crops due to the unstable season with minimal rainfall. As the farmers wait for the stable rains, NAADS Secretariat has embarked on the exercise to verify the planting materials (seeds and seedlings) that are to be procured by NAADS and distributed to the farmers.

The exercise is aimed at ensuring the quality for all planting materials and ascertaining the available quantities of materials produced by the suppliers. The ultimate goal is to achieve improved production and productivity for the planting materials to be supplied.

A team consisting of technical officers from NAADS Secretariat, NARO and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries was constituted to conduct the exercise which commenced last week. The team is supported by technical Officers from District Local Governments in the respective Agro-ecological zones. The team is visiting different seed stores (maize and beans), and nursery beds for mango & citrus seedlings, pineapple suckers and cassava cuttings across the different ecological zones in the country.

This exercise which is expected to take two weeks will cover all the contracted suppliers of Mango and Citrus Seedlings, pineapple Suckers as well as Cassava cuttings in Six Mango Citrus Clusters, four (4) Pineapple Clusters and cassava specified regions respectively with in the different Agro-ecological zones across the Country.

According to the Executive Director NAADS, the information collected from the exercise is to be used during allocation of the respective categories of planting materials to different suppliers and subsequently to prepare call off orders for the supply of materials.

NAADS in collaboration with Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) will supply planting materials including maize and bean seed, mango seedlings, citrus seedlings, pineapple suckers, cassava cuttings and cashew nuts seedlings in the selected clusters/regions across the country. The materials are for the first planting season of the year 2021 which starts in March 2021.

Maize production increases Uganda’s export earnings

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

President Museveni takes Operation wealth Creation to Bukwo

By Moses Kidandi
President Yoweri Museveni has thanked the people of Sebei Sub-Region for massively supporting and voting the NRM government.

The President was addressing a public rally in Kamet Sub-County, Bukwo District during his current countrywide drive to sensitize wananchi on wealth creation to combat household poverty.

President Museveni said that one of the reasons why there was an increase in the population of Sebei Sub-Region was because NRM had improved the health of the people by advocating for good health practices like immunization. He also noted that there was notable progress in the education sector in Sebei region as 183,000 pupils have been enrolled in 214 primary schools. He added that this was so because of the Universal Primary Education programme brought by NRM.

On infrastructure, President Museveni said that although there had been delays in construction of the road, it will be done soon. He, however, advised them to wholesomely engage in wealth creation activities as they await for the building of roads in their area.

He explained to them that development is for everybody but wealth creation focuses on an individual who must struggle to increase his/her household income.