Ministry of Agriculture officials with tablets
Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) has today received equipment worth UShs958,000,000/= from AGRA to boost farm productivity through access to quality seed under the “Strengthening The National Seed Certification Service in Uganda” project.
In 2018, AGRA extended a grant of Uganda Shillings 1.3 billion to the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries towards Strengthening the National Seed Certification Service.
With this grant, 18 Government Seed Inspectors across the country received refresher training while 104 extension workers were given specialized training in seed inspection and equipped to work as “Para-seed Inspectors” to support the Seed inspectors employed by the ministry. The motorbikes will ease mobility of para-seed inspectors in conducting field inspection of seed-multiplication sites while the tablets will help in transferring of information to the Seed Traceability & tracking System being rolled out by MAAIF to ensure access to quality seed.
Dr. John Jagwe, AGRA Country Manager said, “Use of quality seed is the basic and primary measure, a small holder farmer can make or take in the journey of transiting from subsistence to commercial farming. Quality of seed therefore is critical in this journey and we are happy to be a part of this journey.”
Speaking at the handover ceremony, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Hon. Frank K. Tumwebaze, applauded the Agriculture Green Revolution for Africa (AGRA) for their strategic intervention in the “farmer access to quality seed” priority area of the Ministry under the Agriculture Value Chain Development Strategy that is a springboard for the implementation of the NDPIII.
“My ministry wants to be part and parcel of the alliance for a green revolution in Africa by actively participating and leading the green revolution in Uganda and the region. Currently I am leading a multi-institutional effort to produce large volumes of grain/seed as a government intervention to avert the looming threat of food and feed shortage in the country and through that we are greening Uganda with thousands of acres under crop production in just this season alone,” Hon. Tumwebaze said.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Maj. Gen. David Kasura Kyomukama, briefed the gathering that the project was being specifically implemented in thirty-five (35) districts that are also high seed production areas.
“To date, there are over 35 seed companies registered by the Ministry that are actively engaged in various aspects of the seed value chain including seed production and marketing. The ministry is proud to associate with AGRA which has been one of the key stakeholders in the development of the seed industry in Uganda. I am aware of AGRA’s long term contribution to the development of the seed industry in Uganda, which started with the training of seed breeders, building the capacity of private seed companies and now this grant with MAAIF supporting the regulatory processes for farmers to access quality seed,” Gen. Kasura said.
With the Parish Development Model taking centre stage in the implementation of the NDPIII, the Ministry of Agriculture remains pivotal in ensuring that Farmers access the quality inputs required to enable them boost their household incomes
“I want to inform you that as a Ministry we have a task to ensure that farmers who get money through PDM access quality seed (inputs) that will help them to increase on their production and productivity and contribute to the government agro-industrialization agenda AND this we shall do. It is now my honor and pleasure to receive the 100 motorcycles and 73 computer tablets vehicle on behalf of the Ministry and promise that the equipment shall be put to the best use to deliver on the project milestones.” Hon. Tumwebaze said.