As the planting season approaches, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) has advised farmers to look out for seeds with a label of the Ministry to avoid planting fake and low quality seedlings.
MAAIF developed a temporary label for ascertaining the quality of certified seeds.
The Minister of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries Hon Vincent Bamulangaki Sempijja today said that the label is either blue or green in color attached to seed packs.
The rainfall forecast body, the Uganda National Meteorology Authority (UNMA) on 10th February 2020 indicated good prospects for improved Agricultural production across the country over the heavy rainfall predicted.
Sempijja today said farmers should look out for right sources for improved planting materials.
“Farmers are advised to identify and obtain improved planting materials for vegetatively propagated crops such as cassava and sweet potatoes. Farmers are advised to identify and obtain improved planting materials for perennial crops such as coffee, tea, cocoa, bananas from MAAIF certified nursery bed operators,” said Sempijja.
On matters crop management, the Minister called on farmers to seek advice from extension Officers at the sub counties concerning the care of crops planted until maturity.
Meanwhile, a result of the extended rains of season B of 2019, some farmers have just completed harvesting crops while others still having mature crops in the garden.
To avoid wastage, quality loss and contamination of food, the Minister issued guidelines that must be followed especially for grains such as maize.
Harvest maize when it is mature and properly dry.
Use clean, dry harvesting tools and equipment such as tarpaulins, carts, wheelbarrows, bags and baskets.
Prepare clean, dry storage facilities such as stores and cribs to store maize before shelling.
Deliver the harvested maize immediately to clean and dry facility for temporary storage.
Avoid heaping maize after harvesting on bare ground.
Avoid shelling maize through beating with sticks because this method damages the grains.
Avoid drying maize on bare ground as this will contaminate the grains with soil or dirt and further allow fungal or mould growth.
Dry grains on a clean concrete slab or use plastic sheets, tarpaulins, mats, and racks or any appropriate drying facility up to the moisture content of 13 – 14%.
Clean the facility properly before storage.