The Changing Face of NAADS and Uganda’s Agriculture

Published on 9th September 2014

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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