KAMPALA – The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with 171 nursery operators for the supply of over 300,000 Cashew nut seedlings
The start-up seedlings will be provided to farmers in 42 districts along the dry cattle corridor areas of Uganda, including districts in the sub regions of Karamoja, Teso, Lango, Acholi, West Nile, Parts of Central and South Western Uganda.
Speaking at the signing of the MoU in Kampala on Wednesday, 11 March 2020, Mr Henry Aggrey Bagiire, the Minister of State for Agriculture, said the partnership is expected to increase Cashew nut production and trade, increase volume of high quality cashew produce and products for local, regional and international markets, increase household and national incomes and improve household food and nutrition security. It is also expected to create jobs for about 2 million youths, reduce effects of climate change and increase foreign exchange earnings.
Mr Bagiire said the Ministry of Agriculture is currently developing a project to support development of sustainable Cashew nut value chains in Uganda. A total of 61,000 farmers from 61 districts located along the cattle corridor and dry land areas of Uganda are expected to benefit from this project.
On 16th October, 2017, President Museveni directed Ministry of Agriculture to integrate Cashewnut among the priority Commodities and to liaise with Uganda Cashewnut and Trees Limited (UCTL) for Development of Cashewnut Value Chain for improving livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the Cattle Corridor Districts of Uganda.
In financial year 2018/19, MAAIF developed a concept for Development of Cashewnut Value Chain in Cattle Corridor districts of Uganda. The concept was presented to various committees including the Development Committee (DC) of Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development (MFPED) but its still pending approval by MFPED’s Development Committee.
Cashewnut (Anacardium occindentale), is a hardy drought resistant tree crop. It strives best in dry areas with annual average temperatures above 28°C and having well drained deep sandy loam soils with high textural porosity. This makes it a very suitable commodity for dry cattle corridor areas of Uganda.
Cashew is grown across the world including countries such as Mexico, Brazil, India, Philippines and other African Countries s including Nigeria, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda among others
Cashewnut offers enormous benefits including; Nutritional benefits where it provides macro and micro nutrients, such as protein, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese a potential Source of vitamin C