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Agriculture

Ministry of Agriculture kick-starts 5-day training for crop growing

Ms. Beatrice Byarugaba, the Acting Director for Crop Resources in a group photo with District Coordination Teams in Masaka on Monday. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

MASAKA – The Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP) team from the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) on Monday 1 kicked off a 5-day training of District Coordination Teams from project districts under the project in preparation for the next season.

The review and training were officially opened by Ms. Beatrice Byarugaba, the Acting Director for Crop Resources who represented the Permanent Secretary Mr. Pius Wakabi Kasajja.

TheACDP is a partnership of the MAAIF supported by the World Bank with the main objective of increasing production, productivity and marketable volumes of Coffee, Maize, Beans, Rice and Cassava in 12 geographical clusters.

According to MAAIF, under this project, farmers purchase critical farm inputs from accredited input dealers using the e-voucher system which is a mobile-based.

Ms Byarugaba said that the government will subsidise the cost of inputs over 4 seasons with the government: farmer contribution ratios as follows.

Season 1 67%:33%, season 2 50%:50%, season 3 33%:67% and season 4 0:100%.

“By season 4, the farmer is expected to have graduated into one who can run a self-sustaining farm enterprise, having been trained in sustainable financial management and best practices of commercial agriculture,” she said.

This comes a few days after the ministry provided materials and equipment for post-harvest to farmers in Masaka and Ntungamo districts who enrolled for the ACDP which was designed to increase production, productivity and marketable volumes of Coffee, Beans, Cassava, Maize and Rice in 42 districts.

These are inputs the farmers requested for using the e-voucher system.

The post-harvest handling included tarpaulins to be used to drying the produce to improve on quality and also avoid contamination with aflatoxins, among other unwanted substances that can spoil agricultural produce especially Maize.

The ACDP has been effective for 27 months, during which it underwent a second tier-two restructuring that is currently being implemented; the first restructuring was in the amendment to the project effectiveness conditions in November 2016.

The performance rating over the effectiveness period has for the most part been ‘unsatisfactory’, fetching the project the undesirable status of a ‘problem project’. The fourth Implementation Support Mission of November 2018 upgraded the project performance rating to ‘Moderately Satisfactory’, marking the beginning of significantly positive change. This report covers the cumulative progress since the start of the current Financial Year (FY) 2018/2019.

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