NAADS Trains 560 Tractor Operators

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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NAADS Constructs 5MT Mango Factory in Yumbe District

On Wednesday August 7, 2019, the Executive Director of the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) Dr. Samuel Mugasi officially handed over the construction site of Yumbe Mango Processing factory to a new contractor to expedite its expansion and completion.

Yumbe Mango Processing factory is a value addition initiative by the Government of Uganda through the NAADS Secretariat in partnership with Food and Nutrition Solutions Ltd (FONUS) and Aringa Mango Farmers Cooperative Society.

The current structure of Yumbe Mango Processing Factory in Lodonga Sub Country

The construction of the 5 to 6 metric ton per hour factory resumed following a directive from H.E the President. Government through NAADS has released UGX8.7 billion to enable the completion of the factory and the funds will cater for the expansion of the existing structure and the installation of the processing equipment.

The construction site was handed over to a new contractor China Huangpai Food Machinery Company (U) Ltd. While handing over the site, the Executive Director of NAADS Dr. Samuel Mugasi implored the contractor to expedite the completion of the site to enable the farmers to benefit.

He encouraged the farmers to take advantage of the factory saying 5 to 6 metric tons per hour requires enough mangoes on a daily basis.

“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.

ED NAADS Dr. Samuel Mugasi touring the construction site with Yumbe District Administration

The General Manager of China Huangpai Food Machinery Company Nelson Ojwiya said the expansion and installation of machinery in the factory will take five months assuring Government that by March 2020, construction will be complete.

The Chairman LC5 of Yumbe District Taban Yassin said the factory is long overdue with many farmers currently being exploited by middlemen.

“The coming of the factory will put a stop to the exploitation of our farmers by the middlemen who buy the mangoes cheaply”, said Taban

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 April 2020.

The factory is established in partnership with Uganda Development Corporation under the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives which has built the capacity of the farmers under their umbrella association Aringa Mango Farmers Cooperative Society.

Makerere University conducted a study on the mangoes grown in Yumbe and the neighboring districts and established that they have very good juice.

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NAADS Periodic Technical Supervision 2019

NAADS Periodic Technical Supervision 2019

In order to monitor the progress of interventions made, NAADS conducts periodic technical supervision across the country.

Teams of experts from NAADS, MAAIF and OWC supported by the District Local Governments carry out inspection of projects supported NAADS to ascertain progress and address the challenges faced by the farmers.

Cocoa is one of the priority commodities supported by NAADS with 3,910,986 cocoa seedlings distributed in financial year 2018/19.

Turyomunsi from Kiryabicooli village in Nyamarwa Sub County in Kibaale district is one of the beneficiaries that was visited by the technical supervision team on 23rd July 2019.

The farmer received 1,000 cocoa seedlings in June 2019 and has so far planted 450 of these on an acre. She had earlier on received cocoa seedlings from Esco an NGO that supports farmers in the area. She is already harvesting cocoa from the 3 acres, harvesting 15kgs  of dry cocoa every after 2 weeks and selling each KG at shs.6,700.

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NAADS Participates in the 27th National Agricultural Show

The 27th National Agricultural show at Jinja grounds was held from 12th to 21st July 2019. The 10 days event was held under the theme “Agricultural technologies and innovation for farmer led Agro- Industrialization”.

The Show was officially opened on behalf of the President by Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda the Prime Minister of Uganda who was accompanied by Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja the Minister for Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries.

In his speech, President Yoweri Museveni has encouraged farmers to utilize government programs being implemented in the agriculture sector to fight hunger and grow financially. He said there are many programs if well embraced can make Uganda poverty and hunger-free state.

“How come some families are experiencing food insecurity? This is because many of the famers have not embraced government programs despite the fact that government has created conducive environment for the farmers by providing agricultural inputs under the various programs being implemented in the sector,” the President said in the Speech.

He advised farmers to embrace good practices if they are to grow financially.

This show was organized by the Uganda National farmers federation (UNIFFE) in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and fisheries (MAAIF) and as a key stakeholder, NAADS Secretariat enlisted its participation along with its farmers’ representatives who have benefited from NAADS as they showcased their products.

NAADS showcased majorly aspects of agribusiness specifically, the gross margins, the institutional framework of organizing farmers under the farmer committees right from the clusters at village level to the National

farmer committees, an innovation being piloted in 14 districts currently and lastly, the procedural steps farmers can follow to access NAADS inputs as well as availing other key critical information to farmers in addition to responding to questions and inquiries such as the access and management of tractors by farmers through NAADS, a strategic intervention by MAAIF on agricultural mechanization to improve productivity and profitability.

The Show is the largest of its kind in Uganda and is an annual event that has been held since 1990, attracting an annual average of 350 agricultural exhibitors from different parts of the country and beyond.

It is the biggest platform for showcasing Agricultural innovations and exchange of knowledge and offers a lot of opportunities to the participants to learn of equipment and agricultural methods to apply on the farms.

The Agricultural show attracts over 300,000 guests yearly, making it the most attended show.

 

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178 heifers from NAADS/OWC transform lives in Lira district

178 heifers from NAADS/OWC transform lives in Lira district

A group of 15 women under their association Omito Women’s group in of Anywalonino village, Omito ward, Adyel division in Lira district have not waited to wallow into self-pity and regret as some women do. Instead, they have envisaged opportunities in the moments of difficulty – opted to channel their energies into farming and decided to start keeping heifers on a small plot of land within the municipality.

For the past 10 years, these women led by their chairperson 30-year-old Evelyne Agalo, have been engaged in bulking of agricultural produce and it was the savings and loaning out of funds to group members that brought them together.

In 2016, the group took a bold decision to start an income generating activity. That is how they approached the implementers of NAADS/OWC for the much needed support.

Upon construction of a housing unit for the heifers, two in-calf heifers were delivered by officers of OWC.  “We are proud of these women. They are a dedicated team of individuals and we are proud to be associated with them,” says Bernard Okello, a veterinary officer under NAADS/OWC.

According to Agalo, they feed the heifers as per the recommended feeding regimes but they are still facing challenges of increasing on the milk returns.

“We get about 20 litres of milk from the two heifers and we think it is far way below what farmers from western Uganda get from their heifers,” she said.

The good news however, is the fact that there is ready market for their milk. With a litre costing between sh1,500 to sh2,000, their consistent customers are corporate companies within Lira Municipality.

As one of the strategies to increase on milk production, their plan is to acquire a bigger portion of land outside the municipality to plant high nutritious fodder to feed on their heifers and increase on the number of heifers,” she said during the interview.

“We want the heifer to give us more milk, we have the desire and will to be model dairy farmers, she said.

On top of selling milk, they also sell manure to farmers within the district and a small truck costs about sh70,000. In a year, they earn about sh1m from cow dung alone.

Their biggest challenge, according to Agalo is the existence of resistant acaricides to the ticks and their failure to conduct artificial insemination at the right time.

Their future plans includes buying high quality breeds from western Uganda and planting high value fodder to improve on the heifer’s milk outputs.

Using the savings from her other income generating activities, she takes care of her three children and five dependants.

Using the income from milk sales, they have provided employment to a one Kenneth Tia, an orphan who dropped out of school while in senior two.

“We want him to use the monthly earnings to go to a vocational institute and pursue a hands on course,” she said.

Bernard Okello, the veterinary officer under NAADS/OWC, says about 178 heifers have been delivered and distributed among the registered beneficiaries.

Because of our interventions, we have some farmers who have looked after their dairy animals and because of the good care, today they boast of five to six heifers while others have passed on the off-springs to other beneficiaries within their groups.

At first farmers thought it was hard to manage heifers in the area but the notion has since changed. “Farmers in urban settings have limited access to land and dairy farming is the best enterprise that they can venture in with little efforts,” he says.

Okello, however, noted that most of the livestock animals are attacked by east coast fever and most of the farmers are reluctant to report to the relevant authorities while others want government to provide the required acaricides, which is not the case because of the scarce resource envelope.

As a mitigation measure, they advise farmers to fence off their land to avoid contamination from the local zebus in the area.

 

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NAADS Newsletter

NAADS Newsletter Vol.1

This Newsletter features some of the significant achievements by NAADS/OWC. It highlights the impact of government policies in the implementation of programs in the Agriculture sector and the entire country.

For government to achieve the intended objectives, it is necessary to have prudent policies and undertake appropriate structural adjustments in order to translate the policies into appropriate actions. For the agricultural sector, this has called for prioritization of farmers into the agricultural zones so that they produce not only commercially but specifically for the market, prioritizing enterprises and adding value to the products.

We are glad to share with you some of the successes, challenges and lessons resulting from the past efforts of NAADS/OWC and we encourage all the stakeholders to share their experiences in the future publications.

More successful farmers/beneficiaries of NAADS interventions will be profiled in the subsequent bulletins. We also believe that more analysis will be given on the different enterprises government has prioritized for future investments in the subsequent issues.

Download NAADS Newsletter Vol 1

 

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NAADS/NARO Promotes Tissue Culture materials form increased Banana production and Food Security

NAADS Monitoring & Evaluation Team in field to pick lessons on performance of Tissue cultured materials supplied by NAADS Vs local materials at one of the large scale Bamwe Plantations in Kiryandongo District.
Tissue culture banana plantlets are disease free at the time of planting and the same conditions can be maintained by proper crop management.
Farmers need to pick lessons from already supplied and productive centers with successful banana plantations.
NAADS works with NARO to get agricultural technologies best on research and agronomical factors. The suckers can be incorporated with nutrition components of zinc or iron or traits giving them disease resistance like to banana bacteria wilt with precision.
The NARO institute has bred a banana variety resistant to Banana Bacteria Wilt (BBW) using genetic engineering. It has also bred another variety enhanced with Vitamin A. NAADS has distributed similar suckers to farmers and performance is promising: Moses Okullo -Opio of Okwor village in Lira district is one farmer.

He said he got 55 banana suckers from NARL and another 150 from the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADs). His varieties include Mpologoma, Mbwazurume, Fhia 17 (dessert)& and M9 a matooke variety developed at NARL.
He said banana growing were better because clearing of land is done once and incomes are better compared to other crops.
He said he sells between 70- 100 bunches every months at prices ranging from sh 10,000- 15,000.
Kuburiba praised the banana as a drought tolerant crop and added that the adoption in the north has taken away the myth that the north was not suitable for banana growing.​

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