The government has procured brand new tractors for farmer groups across the country.
The tractors, under the bran name, ‘New Holland’were purchased through the National Agricultural Advisory services (NAADS) to cement efforts aimed at mechanizing agriculture and improving farm productivity. Numbering 110, the tractors, which will be officially handed over by President Yoweri Museveni are currently stationed at Namalere Agricultural Centre in Wakiso district.
Agriculture Minister, Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja said the tractors and implements will be delivered to the beneficiaries including cooperative unions before the end of the 2018/2019 Financial Year.
“The President has always advocated for mechanized agriculture as a way of increasing profitability on the farm. So, the procured tractors will help boost farmers’ yields,” Ssempijja said.
Samuel Mugasi, the Executive Director NAADS says government has also purchased 800,000 hoes for over 6,000 households engaged in subsistence farming adding that the procurement process for more 170 tractors is underway.
Herman Mbalasi, the Country Manager Cooper Motor Corporation, the official dealers of New Holland tractors said agribusiness is now becoming the best opportunity of employment to the youth in Uganda.
“Although farmers know their work, many still lack knowledge on the kind of farming implements they need to boost their crop yields and where to get them. They need to understand agribusiness market dynamics for them to be empowered by their work,” Mbalasi said.
He explained that the New Holland tractor is multi-purpose and thus cost effective. Apart from planting, land preparation and harvesting, the tractor can also be used to generate power, transport produce from the farm, make silage and also run a water pump. “There is a component in the New Holland tractorscalled power take off that can be plugged with a mortar and power will be generated. The same process can be used for a water pump or irrigator,” he added.
In 2016, over 40 tractors were given to farmers in Ntungamo, Sheema, Mbarara, Lyantonde, Ibanda, Kiruhura and Mitooma.