In light of the start of the second crop season for 2021, the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) is distributing planting materials to farmers with emphasis on crops that offer improvement on food security as well as household incomes.
In line with the National Development Plan 3, the Government of Uganda through NAADS has committed Shs 41.1 billion to support interventions for wealth creation for procurement and distribution of planting materials including seeds and seedlings to farmers during the season. Distribution of the planting materials has already commenced with farmers in over 120 districts expected to benefit.
This distribution of the planting materials follows the completion of a verification exercise for the seeds and seedlings that was conducted in different districts across the country by inspectors from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) working together with relevant NAADS and the District Local Governments officials.
The planting materials being distributed for the second planting season of 2021 include; seed (maize, beans, sorghum) and vegetative planting materials (cassava, irish potatoes and bananas) specifically for promoting food security; as well as seedlings (citrus/oranges, mangoes, cashew nuts, apples) and pineapple suckers for the strategic commodities for improving household incomes.
NAADS is distributing 2,573,509 kilograms of maize seed, including high yielding hybrid and open pollinated variety (OPV), to farmers through direct support to the District Local Governments/Municipalities and the Food Security Initiative for Constituencies with expected establishment of 257,350 acres of maize; as well as 833,333 kilograms of bean seed.
Seed for both maize and beans is being provided mainly to promote food security but are also intended for boosting household incomes depending on the level of commercialization of these enterprises in the individual district/or regions.
NAADS is also distributing, 87,174 bags of cassava cuttings to farmer beneficiaries across the country. An additional 75,000 bags of cassava cuttings will be distributed to 33 farmer cooperatives with 10,000 farmer members under the Government supported Gulu Archdiocese cassava commercialization project that is spearheaded by the Gulu Catholic Archdiocese under the leadership of Archbishop, John Baptist Odama.
Other planting materials being distributed include 344,828 banana tissue cultured materials, 4,166 bags of irish potato seed and 100,000 kilograms of sorghum to ensure food security in the beneficiary districts. The sorghum seed is mainly for food security, targeting selected districts in Karamoja sub region including Moroto, Napak and Nakapiripirit
In order to meet the agriculture commercialization objective of Government through promotion of strategic commodities, NAADS is also distributing 1,249,618 mango seedlings, 1,021,439 citrus seedlings, 167,000 apple seedlings, 149,216 cashew nuts seedlings and over a million pineapple suckers.
Government support for fruit seedlings (citrus, mango, apple and pineapple) targets farmers and farmers’ groups in earmarked Area-based Commodity clusters within suitable agro ecological zones to aggregate production around emerging and existing processing facilities for agro industrialization.
The NAADS interventions have been aligned with the Parish Development Model and the planting materials are being distributed to farmers were based on the priorities and demands expressed by the different District Local Governments.
As the farmers begin to plant, the Executive Director NAADS, Dr. Samuel Mugasi, has advised farmers to ensure that their gardens/fields are well managed by adhering to proper agronomic practices, control of pests and diseases with support from the relevant technical agricultural officers in their respective Districts.
Additionally, under the intervention on livestock under financial year 2021/2022, NAADS will provide farmers with stocking/livestock materials focusing on dairy heifers, improved pigs, improved poultry chicks and poultry feeds as well as fish fingerings & fish feeds. Government support under livestock is aimed at improving household nutrition and incomes and creating sources of improved breeds within the communities. The support for both poultry and fish material is intended to provide a start-up package for developing poultry and aquaculture enterprises.