The National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) has unveiled plans to purchase a total of one million hand hoes at a total cost of 11 billion shillings in the 2020/2021 financial year.
This was disclosed by Dr. Samuel Mugasi the executive director of NAADS during an interface with parliament’s agriculture committee on Friday.
According to a budget frame work paper presented yesterday, this figure is part of 24 billion shillings that has been set aside to deliver agricultural mechanization which President Museveni has often emphasized.
Mugasi explained that this undertaking has to deal with overwhelming demand from farmers all over the country.
“We realized that hoes continue to be an important farm tool for farmers,” he said.
Meanwhile, 13 billion shillings according to the budget will be going towards purchasing of 130 tractors each valued at Shs 100million.
However, Mugasi says in some districts, NAADS has been asked by small holder farmers to instead provide walking tractors arguing that big tractors only serve the interests of those cultivating large pieces of land.
As such, he requested members on this committee to help lobby funding to a tune of fifty billion shillings to cater for the purchase of 2,500 walking tractors.
“As you know the average land holding in Uganda is about two acres. So the big tractors are mainly benefiting the big land owners. So if we can have a combination of the big tractors for the big land owners and of 5 acres and above and then the hoes and walking tractors for the small farmers,” Mugasi pointed out.
NAADS has so far trained 474 tractor operators out 560 on proper operation and maintenance of tractors.
On the other hand, a total of 280 tractors are expected to be distributed to 119 beneficiary groups by the end of this month while procurement of twenty tractors and matching implements is at contracting level.