Several District Local Governments (DLGs) have benefited from the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) Program in the first half of 2019/20 financial year.
The NAADS Secretariat approved budget for the financial year 2019/20 is 145.894 billion and according to Minister for Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAIIF) Hon Vincent Bamulangaki Sempijja, a substantial percentage of the budget has been spent.
Sempijja told journalists on Tuesday that in the first half of the financial year 2019/20, NAADS has focused on provision of improved planting materials for food Security and strategic commodities, provision of agro machinery to support farm mechanisation and provision of value addition equipment for agro processing all aimed at increasing production and productivity of various priority and strategic crop commodities for improved household food and income security.
Sempijja explained how the above aims were achieved.
“We procured and distributed 2,434.437 tons of maize seeds to 125 district local governments as well as constituencies through Members of Parliament under the Food Security Initiative for constituencies for establishment of 243,444 acres of maize benefiting 121,722 households.”
“We procured and distributed 632,187 banana tissue cultured planting materials to 57 district local governments for establishment of 1,405 acres of banana for 2,810 households. We procured and distributed 4,080 bags of seed potato to 25 district Local Governments for establishment of 680 acres for 1,360 households,” said Sempijja.
On the issue of strategic crop and livestock commodities, he said that 166,695 cashew nut seedlings were procured and distributed to 28 district local governments for establishment of 2,381 acres for 238 households.
On matters agro machinery, he noted that since 2019, they have conducted training for 560 tractor operators across the country on proper operation and maintenance of tractors adding that the last batch of operators is to be passed out on 7th February 2020 at Mukono Zonal Agricultural Research Development Institute and Mayuge Zonal Agricultural Research Development Institute.
“Delivery and distribution of 280 tractors for beneficiary groups in 119 district local governments is ongoing and expected to be completed by the end of February 2020. The total number of tractors procured by government is 320,” he added.
Meanwhile, on the issue of value addition equipment for agro processing, the Minister noted that for Yumbe Mango fruit processing factory is expected to be commissioned in June 2020 with planned capacity of 40 Metric tonnes per day.
Kayunga fruit processing plant which will be commissioned in June 2020 is expected to produce 8 to 11 Metric tonnes per day, Kapeeka mult fruit processing plant in Nakaseke district is expected to produce 1 metric ton per hour while Nwoya mult fruit processing factory is expected to produce 12 metric ton per hour.
Photos: Agriculture Minister Vincent Bamulangaki Sempijja speaking to journalists at Uganda Media Center on Tuesday.