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Agriculture Ministry Roots For Oil Seeds Growing In Karamoja :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Agriculture Ministry Roots For Oil Seeds Growing In Karamoja

According to the project plan, the pilot scheme will run from the selected five sub-counties per district targeting a total of 120,000 smallholder households. It also has a component of supporting oil seed production and the construction of the 2500 kilometers of community access roads to ease the transportation of produce.
The Team from MAAIF, National Oil Seeds Project meeting with the stakeholders and farmers in Moroto District

Audio 4



The Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries through the National Oil Seeds project has moved to improve oil seeds production in the Karamoja sub-region. 

The National Seeds Oil Project rolled out in 2021 which is running for seven years is aimed at supporting smallholder farmers in Oil seed production and market linkages. The project is currently implemented in the districts of Amudat, Napak, Abim, Nakapiripirit, Nabilatuk, and Kaabong.

According to the project plan, the pilot scheme will run from the selected five sub-counties per district targeting a total of 120,000 smallholder households. It also has a component of supporting oil seed production and the construction of the 2500 kilometers of community access roads to ease the transportation of produce.

Emmanuel Tukei, the project Agronomist, under the National Oilseed Project, says that their major focus is to improve the rural income through engagement of different stakeholders in the value chain to have increased production. 

Tukei said that they are working with the district local government to help in the aspect of extensions by training farmers to emphasize the growing of the four commodity crops such as Soya beans, groundnuts, sunflowers, and sim sim. 

He said that the farmers have already been organized in the clusters and a local seed business has been established to help farmers access seeds at subsidized prices.

Tukei added that farmers will be trained in agronomy, financial literacy, environmental management, and the formation of local seed businesses to boost production. 

Tukei said that they are also looking at enhancing mechanized agriculture and the project plans to procure tractors which farmers will contribute 10 percent of the cost of tractors.

He revealed that they will also be working with the research institutions to produce a quick maturing variety that can tolerate drought, pests, and diseases. 

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Sophie Mary Aito, the Hub coordinator for the Karamoja sub-region said that they have started identifying the stakeholders and the farmers who will help to support the project to achieve the commercialization of the oil project. 

Aito said that they have already received soya bean seeds for season B 2023 and season A 2024 which are already been planted. 

She highlighted that the farmers are facing several challenges such as market, pests and diseases, and lack of mechanization.

Aito observed that the sub-counties with high productivity have a challenge of poor road network and the project has picked interest to handle access roads. 

Aito added that the farmers have been organized in groups and built their capacity to understand how crops are produced and banked to attract better prices. 

She observed that farmers have been selling their produce cheaply with the help of middle an issue the project is highly working hard to end.

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George Loduk, a farmer from Iriiri Sub County in Napak district said that they lack storage facilities to enable them to keep the harvest for a long time as they waited for a better market.

Loduk observed that they have been selling their produce cheaply from the gardens because there is no proper storage system to keep the cereals for a long time as they wait for better prices.

He also noted that they also lack tractors that would enable them to open up large acreage and enhance their production. 

He also said that there is a need to bridge the gap in the market linkage within and outside the subregion to avoid middlemen.

Abraham Nangiro, the Napak District Senior Agriculture Officer said that the project is an opportunity to transform the farmers that have been getting low sales for their produce. 

Nangiro noted that since the project started last year, they have embarked on profiling the farmers who are involved in the oil seed sector.

He observed that the project has a bigger prospect for developing the farming community in the region

Nangiro said that they want now the improved seed variety for the oil sector to be able to develop further and introduce the local seed businesses. 

He said that all the farmers mapped as local seed businesses will be trained and give foundation seeds for multiplication and supply to other farmers. 

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Hellen Adoa, the State Minister for Agriculture urged the farmers to form groups so that they can easily be supported. 

Adoa also appealed to banking institutions to consider giving special attention to the farmers in the Karamoja to boost their productivity. 

Adoa said that the government is yet to procure more tractors and the farmers from Karamoja should express their interest early. She added that the farmers will also receive the processing machines for their produce. 

Adoa revealed that the government is committed to supporting the farmers who are ready to transform through agriculture and end the hunger crisis. 

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Napak district is the major producer of sunflower seeds which is mostly sold and transported to the districts in Teso and other neighboring sub-regions. The business is always conducted by the middlemen who buy the seeds cheaply from the farmers during the harvest season.