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VP Alupo Blames Poor Agriculture Productivity on Low Extension Services

“Given the numerous water bodies, we are endowed with, we are equally well-placed in the fisheries industry and everybody should be happy to note that we are on a fast road of improvement in the animal industry. Our main challenge however, is the fact that our farmers have not been able to exploit this potential which results in low productivity, low quality of products and limited value addition.” VP Jessica Alupo.
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Vice President Jessica Alupo has blamed the low agriculture productivity in the country to low extension services provided to the farmers, a situation that has hindered development of the sector.       

Ms Alupo said that currently farmers are increasingly facing crop failure, poor yields and storage loses which would have been prevented through educating and supervision by extension workers.   

     

“Given the numerous water bodies, we are endowed with, we are equally well-placed in the fisheries industry and everybody should be happy to note that we are on a fast road of improvement in the animal industry," she said. "Our main challenge however, is the fact that our farmers have not been able to exploit this potential which results in low productivity, low quality of products and limited value addition."           

Speaking at the opening of a five-day retreat organized by the Ministry for Agriculture at the National Leadership Institute in Kyankwnzi District, the Vice President said that whereas 70 to 80 percent of our people are involved in agriculture, this sector accounts for  less than 21 percent of Ugandan GDP.

      

The retreat is being attended the ministry’s top leadership including the ministers, Commissioners, directors and heads of parastatals under the ministry with a view of planning together for the next five years in response to policy directives.       

Major Alupo asked the ministry to educate farmers on post-harvest practices through the parish based production cooperatives.        

“There is need to acquire appropriate technology for post-harvest handling of fish, beef, dairy and horticulture products, a need to implement guidelines, regulations and statutory instruments to streamline the fish value chain and also the need to acquire appropriate technology and also a need for physical infrastructure for post-harvest handling of cereals and grains,” said Ms Alupo in a statement read for her by the third deputy Prime Minister, Ms Rukia Nakadama.        

She expressed optimism that the retreat would result into a clear roadmap for all stakeholders who yearn to see modern farming in Uganda.         

According to Ms Nakadama, agriculture in all forms still remains a key activity for the majority of our people especially those in rural areas and the two sector of animal husbandry and fisheries are playing critical role in modernizing drives of this country.  

    

“If well-coordinated, these sectors can be transformed drastically for the benefit of our country through general education, training of farmers in modern skills and organizing them through well managed farmers’ organizations,” she said. 

      

Agriculture Minister, Mr Frank Tumwebaze said that they retreated to harmonise their thinking and to define how to help farmers to better their farming activities to increase yields by way of bringing all stakeholders on board to promote farming education in agronomy, post-harvest handling, good yields and well as the value chain. 

          

Because of inadequate extension staff in the districts, the minister revealed that they have resolved to implement farming education through the media by way of signing partnerships.  

  

//Cue in…For every enterprise…//  

Cue out//…through our budget…//    

                                                   

On farmers cultivating in protected areas, Mr Tumwebaze said it is a violation but promised to work with the environment ministry to advise the farmers on what is acceptable in a particular vulnerable ecosystem.  

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