NAADS to hold Zonal Review and Planning Meetings across the country

Plucking tea in Kyenjojo

NAADS to hold Zonal Review and Planning Meetings across the country

The National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) is set to hold zonal review and planning meetings across the country to assess the progress of implementation of the NAADS interventions for wealth creation and deliberate on pertinent issues including challenges & lessons that will guide the new strategic direction for agro-industrialization and inform the planning & budgeting process for the FY 2020/21 and the medium term.

The zonal review and planning meetings will take place in fifteen (15) regional centers as follows;

No Region Host District Date
1 West Nile & Madi Arua 20th – 21st January 2020
2 Acholi Kitgum 23rd – 24th January 2020
3 Lango Lira 27th – 28th January 2020
4 Bukedi Busia 20th – 21st January 2020
5 Bugisu & Sebei Mbale 23rd – 24th January 2020
6 Busoga Jinja 27th – 28th January 2020
7 Kigezi Rukungiri 20th – 21st January 2020
8 Ankole Bushenyi 23rd – 24th January 2020
9 Tooro Kasese 20th – 21st January 2020
10 Bunyoro Kibaale 23rd – 24th January 2020
11 Greater Masaka Masaka 27th – 28th January 2020
12 Mubende Mityana 23rd – 24th January 2020
13 Mengo Mukono 20th – 21st January 2020
14 Karamoja Moroto 20th – 21st January 2020
15 Teso Kumi 23rd – 24th January 2020

 

The participants will include a wide range of stakeholders from both the public and private sectors from the various Districts and sub-county Local Governments within the respective zones.

The focus of the NAADS Zonal Review Meetings

In order to consolidate the gains so far achieved in the agricultural commercialization drive in a sustainable manner, emphasis will be laid on the following;

  1. Strengthening of agricultural commodity value chains anchored in the local economic development (LED) initiatives, in line with the Agri-Led model.
  2. Promoting the establishment of Area Based Commodity Clusters
  3. Supporting the establishment of farmer service centers and logistic hubs.

Specific objectives:

The specific objectives of the zonal review and planning workshops(s) are:

  1. To provide feedback/updates on the status of implementation of previous zonal and national level recommendations.
  2. To review the progress of implementation of NAADS interventions for wealth creation to inform decision making for the coming season 1, 2020 (for the remaining period of FY 2019/20) and subsequent agricultural seasons in the medium term.
  3. To review and map out strategies to guide implementation of the NAADS interventions for wealth creation at various levels of implementation (national, Regional, District, Sub County, parish and farmer level) in view of the agro-industrialization agenda.
  1. To agree on emerging opportunities, key undertakings, and recommendations for improving implementation of the NAADS interventions for wealth creation in line with the agro-industrialization agenda to inform the budgeting process for the FY 2020/21 and the medium term.

 

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Maize mill in Mayuge

Maize mill transforms lives of maize farmers in Mayuge

The livelihood of the members of Bidhampola Community Development Association (BOCODA) in Mayuge district has not remained the same after receiving a maize mill from NAADS.

The association which is located in Buwaya Sub County with a membership of 230 (120 male and 110 female) received a maize mill from NAADS in 2016 for processing and adding value to the maize produced in the area.

According to the Chairperson of the association Patrick Baligeya, during the maize harvesting season, they mill between 30,000 and 80,000 kilograms of maize grain per day.

He says a member of the association is charged 180 shillings per kilogram milled while the non-members are charged 200 shillings.

From the proceeds of the maize mill, the association has bought a plot of land which cost 8 million shillings and construction is underway for expansion to establish another maize milling facility.

Baligeya adds that from the maize mill, the association saved money and bought equipment for the women members who started a catering business from which they earn additional income.

Bidhampola Community Development Association is also a beneficiary of a tractor from NAADS which has contributed to increased yields of maize.

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Namugolo in her pineapple farm

57 year old housewife turns into a pineapple commercial farmer

57-year-old Harriet Namugolo spent 20 years as a housewife engaged in subsistence farming. However, in 2015 she got a tip off from a friend on the possibility of acquiring pineapple suckers from NAADS to engage in pineapple commercial farming.

Namugolo a resident of Katikamu village in Busaale Parish, Kayunga Sub County in Kayunga district started with 10,000 pineapple suckers from NAADS which she planted on one acre. Following the good yield and a good income, Namugolo enlarged her pineapple farm and today she is minting money from 5 acres of pineapple with plans to expand to 20 acres in the near future.

Namugolo is one of the many pineapple farmers that have benefited from the over 2 million pineapple suckers that NAADS has distributed in Kayunga district to boost the production of pineapple in the area for improved household incomes and wealth creation.

Namugolo’s biggest challenge is the unstable market and paltry price of pineapple especially during the peak season with middlemen cheating the farmers.

“During the peak season the price of pineapple drops as low as shs.700 each which affects my profit margin”, explained Namugolo.

However, Namugolo’s woes are soon coming to an end following a partnership between the Government of Uganda through the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) and the private sector to construct a Pineapple juice factory to add value to the pineapple produced in the region.

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Installation of equipment at Kayunga Pineapple factory

Kayunga Pineapple Factory to open in June 2020

The Government of Uganda through the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) in partnership with the private sector players is constructing a Pineapple juice factory to add value to the pineapple produced in the region.

The 12 metric ton per day factory is under construction in Kito village, Busaale Sub County in Kayunga district. Government through NAADS has so far injected shs.780m in this factory under the Public Private Sector partnership and the rest is contributed by the private sector partners including Semu Agro-tech Consultants Ltd and Entebbe Miracle Center Church.

During a monitoring visit to the construction site of the factory, the Chairman Board of Directors NAADS Robert Kibirango Galusanja said shs.660 million has been spent on procurement of juice processing equipment and shs.120 million on procuring a solar water pumping system for water for production at the factory.

“We procured the processing equipment and currently installation is ongoing. We expect the factory to start operations in April 2020 producing processed pineapple juice, pulp and dried pineapples mainly for export”, explained Kibirango.

Kibirango urged the farmers to produce more pineapples and supply the factory, and implored Semu Agro-tech Ltd which has 82% shares in the factory to give the farmers good prices amidst competition from the middlemen.

Kayunga Pineapple factory

The Chairperson of Kayunga District Farmers Association (KADIFA) John Ssekkoko asked NAADS to supply the farmers with more pineapple suckers saying the current production is not enough to sustain the capacity of the factory. He said KADIFA working together with Kayunga District Local Government and Semu Agro-tech Ltd, they have mobilized more than 2000 pineapple farmers who have been prepared and are ready to supply the factory.

Jane Were, a Director and Manager for Nursery Operations in Semu Agro-tech Consultants assured the farmers of a ready market and good prices for their pineapples. She explained that the first phase of the factory will cost shs.1.38bn while the second phase which includes construction of raw material shades, production stores and the compound is estimated to cost approximately shs.700m.

The factory is expected to employ 20 to 30 people directly and between casual 100 and 150 casual workers. More than 20,000 pineapple farmers in Kayunga and neighboring districts are expected to benefit from this factory.

Kibirango explained to the farmers that starting with next financial year 2019/20, NAADS will implement the commodity cluster programme with Kayunga set to be part of the Pineapple Cluster where NAADS will prioritize the provision of agricultural inputs along the commodity value chain in a cluster. Under this arrangement, NAADS will concentrate on one particular commodity with emphasis on areas where Government has established value addition facilities.

He however cautioned leaders and farmers to desist from involving politics in agricultural programs saying every Ugandan is entitled to benefit from Government projects irrespective of their political affiliations.

Kayunga district is one of the leading pineapple producing districts in Uganda producing approximately 15,960 tons of pineapple in a single season.

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Buhweju Tea Factory

Buhweju to get additional 54 million tea Seedlings

NAADS is set to distribute an extra 54 million tea seedlings in Buhweju district to boost the production of tea in the region. This was disclosed by the Executive Director NAADS Dr. Samuel Mugasi during a monitoring visit to Buhweju district to assess the impact of NAADS interventions in the tea sector in the region.

In a meeting with Buhweju district leaders, Dr. Mugasi said tea is one of the country’s major cash crops especially for the export market and it has made progress in the last 10 years and that is why Government through NAADS has continued to make interventions in the tea industry with the aim of expanding the area under tea and fill gaps in existing tea plantations.

Since 2014, NAADS has procured and distributed over 400 million tea seedlings in 21 tea growing districts resulting in an increase in leaf production with reports of overproduction of leaf in some districts over the existing tea processing capacities, as is the case of Kyenjojo, Kabarole, Kanungu and Buhweju.

In the case of Buhweju, NAADS has so far distributed 45,000,000 tea seedlings resulting in increased production of green leaf. The only operating tea processing factory – Buhweju Tea Factory is overwhelmed by the increased production of green leaf. The factory has a capacity of 68,000 kilograms of green leaf per day. However, because of the increased production of green leaf, the factory received between 80,000 and 100,000 kilograms of green leaf forcing the factory to operate beyond capacity.

ED NAADS visiting tea farms in Buhweju

There are 3 new tea processing factories that are under construction and once they are opened, they will be able to consume all the tea produced in Buhweju.

Dr. Mugasi said with the establishment of 3 new tea processing facilities in Buhweju, NAADS will distribute an extra 54 million tea seedlings to farmers in the district to feed the factories with green leaf. He explained that the seedlings will be distributed in a phased manner for a period of three years.

The tea interventions together with farmers’ own initiatives has stimulated establishment of more tea factories from 27 to 33 factories including 2 new ones established in Kabale and Kisoro with the support from Uganda Government. Some tea factories have either added or are the process of acquiring additional processing lines due to increased leaf production.

Additionally, 15 new tea factories are being established and are at different levels in several districts including; Kyenjojo (2), Buhweju (4), Kanungu (1), Bushenyi (1), Rukiga (1), Kisoro (1), Ntungamo (1), Kamwenge (1), Mbarara (1) and Luwero (1).

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Mpumwire in his mango farm

73 year old Mpumwire Zedekiah reaping big from Mango farming

73 year old Mpumwire Zedekiah is minting money from mangoes & dairy farming.

The resident of Kazo Town Council in Kazo district received 100 mango seedlings in 2015 from NAADS which he planted on half an acre of land. Mpumwire earned some good money from the first harvest which prompted him to expand his mango farm.

Mpumwire after harvesting mangoes

Currently, Mpumwire has 3500 mango trees on 17 and half acres harvesting twice in a year. He says he earns shs.70,000 and shs.100,000 from each tree in a year.

ED NAADS Dr. Samuel Mugasi visits Mpumwire's farm

ED NAADS Dr. Samuel Mugasi on a monitoring visit to Mpumwire’s farm in Kazo

Mpumwire is also a dairy farmer and a beneficiary of a tractor from NAADS which he uses for pasture multiplication together with other group members.

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Trainers demonstrating the skills acquired during the two weeks training

NAADS Trains 560 Tractor Operators

NAADS Trains 560 Tractor Operators in preparation for distribution of tractors

23 year-old Namale Jovia is full of excitement as she climbs the big tractor to demonstrate the skills she has attained during a two weeks training of tractor operators at Kyera Agricultural College in Nyamitanga Isingiro district.

Namale is one of the only three women out of the 36 tractor operators that were passed out on Wednesday 7th November 2019 after undergoing practical training in tractor operation and basic maintenance organized by the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries in preparation for the distribution of tractors.

Namale was nominated by Kasamba Farmer Agro Enterprise located in Kakuuto Sub County in Kyotera district to participate in the training of tractor operators. The Diploma holder in Crop Production and Management from Bukalasa Agriculture College says since her childhood she admired her father who was a tractor driver.

“Since childhood I loved driving a tractor but my father would not let me touch it, so when this opportunity came I took advantage and now i have attained a tractor operating permit”, explained the excited Namale

Nalame says in the beginning she had a lot of fear since she was the only woman among 33 men and had not driven a tractor before like other trainees. The other two women joined the training later. However, with time she gained the confidence and with the support of the men in the group she can now operate the tractor very well, do the ploughing and harrowing with ease.

Tractor operators with their certificates after the two weeks training

Tractor Operators after acquiring their certificates

The training at Kyera attracted tractor operators from the districts of Kyotera, Rakai, Lwengo, Masaka, Kamwenge, Kyegegwa, Kitagwenda and Kasese districts.

The Government of Uganda through NAADS procured 280 tractors and implements to be availed to farming communities across the country.  The tractors are currently kept at Namalere Mechanization Workshop in Kampala awaiting distribution to the farmer beneficiaries. The initiative by the Government of Uganda is aimed at mechanizing Uganda’s agriculture.

Dr. Samuel Mugasi the Executive Director of NAADS says they received 641 applications from 117 District Local Governments out of which 66 Nucleus farmers, 209 Farmer organizations and 2 District Local Governments were allocated tractors. The allocations were done according to Operational guidelines for tractor access and management.

The Operational Guidelines provide four models of tractor management; Nucleus Farmer, Contracted, Government owned and operated and the Farmers organisation model.

Dr. Mugasi says in order to ensure sustainable utilisation of the tractors, 560 tractors (two operators per tractor) are currently undergoing training before the tractors are handed over to the beneficiaries.

The training is being conducted in 16 sessions at 8 stations. The training stations are; Nabuin (Napak), Abi (Arua), Ngetta (Lira), Bulindi (Hoima), Mukono (Mukono), Ikulwe Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institutes (ZARDIs) and Kyera Agricultural Training Institute, Isingiro District. The training which started on 21st October 2019 will end on 7th February 2020.

The training is conducted by experts from Engineering Solutions Uganda Ltd and Cooper Motors Uganda Ltd who supplied Government with the tractors.

While passing out the first batch of the trainees, the Principal of Kyera Agricultural College Baingana Silver implored the tractor operators not to be selfish but share the knowledge and skills attained with other members in their farmer associations.

The representative of MAAIF Eng. James Kasozi Tondo said the initiative to mechanize agriculture is aimed at increasing the cultivated acreage and increased production for food security and increased income generation.

After the training, tractors will be handed over to the beneficiaries.

According to NAADS, the beneficiaries will be responsible for maintaining the tractors according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule and manuals. For the period under warranty, the suppliers or agents of suppliers of tractors will carry out routine tractor service and maintenance of the tractors. The supplier/dealer will be responsible for provision of aftersales network to support all supplied equipment in a timely, efficient and cost effective manner.

A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed between the Tractor beneficiary, MAAIF, NAADS and the District Local Governments. Monitoring and supervision of utilisation of the tractors will be done by DLGs/MAAIF/NAADS according to the Operational guidelines for tractor access and management.

Dr. Mugasi says the tractors to be distributed have a capacity of between 47 Horse power and 60 Horse power with each tractor costing between shs.60m to shs.70m.

Ends.

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NAADS signs MOU to boost sugar cane production in Northern Uganda

Government through NAADS has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with two sugarcane out-growers cooperatives and four District Local Governments in Acholi Sub Region with the aim of boosting sugar cane production in preparation of Atiak sugar factory that is expected to begin operations early next year. Party to the MOU is Horyal Investment Holdings Ltd, a private company that is constructing Ataik Sugar Factory.

The MOU which was signed on Monday 6th October 2019 at the NAADS Secretariat establishes a framework of principles and procedures that will facilitate, guide and enhance a collaborative approach among parties and stakeholders for supporting the production of sugar cane among the out-growers in the participating District Local Governments covering a total of 13,841 acres.

Management of NAADS and leaders froM Northern Uganda after signing the MOU

 

This MOU is part of the implementation of the Government supported sugar cane project intervention to empower and uplift the local community recovering from the effects of war in Northern Uganda especially the most vulnerable groups notably the women who are participating in the sugar cane out-growers scheme to have a source of livelihood through sugar cane growing.

At the national level, the intervention by Government is of strategic importance as it contributes to boosting sugarcane output for increased sugar production for both the domestic and export markets.

The project intervention initially targets four (4) Districts of Amuru, Gulu, Lamwo, and Adjumani. The target acreage of 13,841 acres for the production of sugar cane under the project will be located in the participating districts as follows; Amuru 10,841 acres; Gulu 1,200 acres; Adjumani 800 acres; Lamwo 1000 acres. The project is set to benefit 1,344 members of Atiak Sugar plantation out-growers society Ltd and 1,800 members for Gem Pacilo farmers’ cooperative society.

The four participating District Local Governments are expected to play a crucial role in providing support and guidance towards the implementation of the project intervention including mobilization of resources and farmers for participating in the sugar cane out-growers scheme.

 

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Signing of the MoU to establish Yumbe Mango Processing Factory

MoU to establish Yumbe Mango Processing Factory signed

Government through the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) and Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with mango farmers in Yumbe district under their umbrella association Aringa Fruit Farmers Cooperative Society ltd (AFFCSL), to establish a 5 metric ton per hour factory in Yumbe district under a Public Sector Initiative.

The factory is a value addition initiative by Government to increase sustainable production, productivity and value addition in key growth opportunities. Government has earmarked Shs.8.5 billion to establish and operationalize a fully equipped mango processing facility in Yumbe District.

In the MOU, NAADS is to contribute the resources for the establishment of the factory, provide production and productivity enhancing technologies such as seedlings, and other technologies to the target farmers, contract service providers for the establishment of the mango processing factory. The agency will also supervise and monitor the project and oversee the transition of the Government’s stake in the project to the Farmers.

 The Executive Director of NAADS Dr. Samuel Mugasi said the construction of the factory was initiated by Food and Nutrition Solutions Ltd (FONUS), which is the fourth party to the MoU. FONUS is a privately owned company whose equity is held by well-experienced food scientists, technologists and technicians based at Makerere University.

FONUS pilot tested the processing of the local mangoes into pulp and has carried out a feasibility study and presented a proposal to Government desirous of setting up a mango processing plant in Yumbe District.

Mugasi says NAADS has already taken steps and contracted new company China Huangpai Food Machinery Company (U) Ltd to complete and expand the construction site of the factory and install the mango processing equipment.

“I officially handed over the construction site of the factory to the new company on August 7th this year and construction works have commenced”, explained Mugasi

He added that the plant will procure mangoes from the farmers and commercially process them into value-added products and sell them in the local and international markets.

Mugasi explained the MoU is meant to provide a cooperation framework in the establishment of the processing facility by the Parties through complementary actions for the effective and efficient functioning of the mango fruit value chain.

On the other hand, Uganda Development Corporation which was represented by the Executive Director Dr. Patrick Birungi, will ensure smooth commercial operations and management of the fruit factory in collaboration with FONUS, and oversee the smooth transition of Government’s stake (divestiture period and process) in the project to the Aringa Fruit Farmers’ Cooperative Society Ltd.

In the 3 year MoU, FONUS will offer technological expertise for value addition to mangoes, identify and provide advice on appropriate technologies, avail the required land for setting up the mango processing plant; and contribute resources for the establishment and operationalization for the factory. FONUS will also initiate the creation of a subsidiary company that will take care of the project and in which the farmers will hold shares equivalent to the GOU investment.

The farmers are tasked to ensure sustainable and continuous production and supply of quality mangoes to the factory at equitable prices.

Signing on behalf of the farmers, the Chairperson of Aringa Fruit Farmers Cooperative Society ltd Mustafa Aziku said they have mobilized their farmers to grow more mangoes to feed the factory.

Farmers are also required to work with Yumbe District Local Government for agricultural extension services and acquire shares in the subsidiary company that will take care of the project.

“This factory was designed based on the local mangoes grown in the West Nile region. So I urge the farmers to take advantage of the free mango seedlings distributed by NAADS/OWC and plant more mangoes that will feed the factory”, said Dr. Mugasi

He added that the factory will be a ready market for the farmers. Dr. Mugasi said Coca Cola Company has already offered to buy 5,000MT of the mango concentrate per year from the factory.

The Chairman LC5 of Yumbe District Taban Yassin who witnessed the signing of the MoU said the coming of the factory will put a stop to the exploitation of our farmers by the middlemen who buy the mangoes cheaply.

Dr. Mugasi confirmed construction works will take 5 months from August 2019, installation of the equipment will take one month and the factory is expected to be ready for commissioning in early 2020.

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Joseph Lwevuze harvesting oranges from his farm

Luweero Catechist reaping big from citrus growing

65-year-old Joseph Lwevuze, is among the few elderly persons who has defied the begging and handout syndrome to earn from his farming projects at Ntangala village, Katikamu sub-county in Luweero district.

When Lwevuze ventured into orange growing as a commercial farm crop, the future for the market seemed very limited since many people were not in the orange growing business in Luweero.

The fact that he took advantage of the earliest opportunity to plant more orange seedlings when the district Production Office in Luweero flagged off the opportunity under the NAADS/OWC programme, boosted his plans to grow more orange trees.

“My initial plan was to have some two acres for both as a demonstration and income-generating venture. Being a trained and practicing agriculturalist, my ability to add to the 300 orange trees extended to me under the NAADS projects has greatly paid off.

“I now own about 2,200 orange trees on two different plots of land. The Oranges are on a four-acre piece of land where we often do some spot irrigation during the long dry spell between the months of December and February,” he said.

Unlike other farmers who concentrate on a single farming enterprise, Lwevuze, has embraced multiple enterprises including poultry, bananas, and coffee-growing to diversify his income.

It is now nine years since he ventured into the Orange farming as a business and the rewards so far are enormously evidenced from the number of visitors who visit his garden for knowledge sharing with the district and beyond.

According to Lwevuze, it is unfortunate that farmers often shy away from facts regarding the farming business. Many farmers do not want to take risks.

During the dry season of January to March, Lwevuze is able to earn more than sh400,000 per week from the sale of oranges

“As a catechist attached to Kasana –Luweero Diocese, I have always craved to serve as an example to the flock. We are called to be hardworking and not beggars. I have been able to educate my children through the farming projects where they have actively been participating to ensure that they get skills and be part of the success story,” he explained.

At Lwevuze’s orange farm, he promotes three orange varieties including Valencia, Washington Naval and Hamlin, and his future plans is to have separate plots for each of the variety to ensure better monitoring.

The catechist’s customers are mainly in the local markets of Wobulenzi and Luweero towns including supermarkets and local fruit processors.

On top of growing oranges, Lwevuze boasts of rearing 1,500 poultry birds, cultivates Robusta coffee on about10 acres and four acres of a nice looking banana plantation.

 

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