By Morrison Rwakakamba and Daniel Lukwago
Despite the importance of agriculture to Uganda‟s economy, the sector‟s performance has not been impressive in recent years. Whereas the industrial and services sectors have in some years hit a 10 percent growth rate, the growth in the agriculture sector has consistently remained largely in reserve gear. Real growth rate in agricultural output declined from 7.9 percent in 2000/01 to 1.3 percent in 2012/13.
Agriculture in Uganda is dominated by small holder farmers who occupy the majority of land and produce most of the crop and livestock products. The key long-standing challenge of the small holder farmers is low productivity stemming from the lack of access to markets, credit, and technology. Most small holder operations occur in farming systems with the family as the centre of planning, decision-making and implementation, operating within a network of relations at the community level.
Agricultural extension is currently surrounded by uncertainties and ambiguities. The current impasse in the National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS) is killing the agriculture extension in Uganda. As we speak now, agricultural extension in Uganda is at a cross-road. There is not clear policy on how extension services should be implemented in Uganda.
It is the contention of this paper that for the army to partake into grand advisory and extension services, there is no precedent and this should particularly take a second tier – Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) should therefore spend about 10 years at production before transitioning to backstopping extension services in Uganda.
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