The new Minister for Agricultire, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Frank Tumwebaze, says his leadership will engage directly with farmers rather than holding conferences.
Tumwebaze, who took over from Vincent Ssempijja on June 22, made the statement during the handover ceremony held at the agriculture ministry head offices in Entebbe.
“In this term, we will spend more time with the farmers in the fields than in conferences," he added, " We need to stop projectising everything and instead implement what works for the farmers."
The ministry currently oversees over eight projects including the Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP), Locust Response Project, National Oil Palm project,Meat Export Support Service Project and Banana Livelihood Diversification project,
Tumwebaze further explained that his leadership will respond to the public's outcry over poor quality of crops, seeds and animal breeds and also ensure better management of diseases and will prioritise farmer education. He added that he will ensure mechanization will be based on logic so that farmers utilize the tractors provided by the government.
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Meanwhile, Vincent Ssempijja, who is now the minister for defence and veteran affairs, lauded the former ministers of state Aggrey Bagiire (Agriculture), Bright Rwamirama (Animal Industry) and Hellen Adoa (Fisheries) and the technical team for their efforts amidst challenges. These challenges included the invasion of the desert locusts and the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in January and March 2020.
"During my term, the ministry brought on board strategic crops such as vanilla, cashew nuts, avocado and other initiatives like exporting fish maw," noted Ssempijja.
Tumwebaze and the line ministers will now embark on a tour of the ministry's head offices, agencies such as National Agricultural Advisory Services- NAADS, National Genetic Resource Centre and Databank-NAGRC&GB, Dairy Development Authority, National Agricultural Research Organisation-NARO, Cotton Development Organisation starting today.