Saturday, 17 August 2013

Uganda: Agricultural Mechanisation Enhanced Farming in Uganda



Mechanised agriculture is the process of using agricultural machinery to simplify farming with the aim of increasing productivity. Though Uganda is endowed with fertile soils and favourable climate, the major factors that influence agriculture, the country continued to produce at a law scale.

Studies have shown that 99.4% smallholder farmers in Uganda use traditional, rudimentary and obsolete technologies and methodologies for post-harvest operations.

These are contributing factors to low farm output. To change this, the Government came up with agriculture mechanisation as a strategy of restructuring the sector.

Efforts were put in place, which has seen farmers change their ways of farming, mechanisation has become one of the key pillars of agricultural transformation and modernisation. The efforts directed into the occupation of cost-effective farm tools and the Government has tried to integrate majority Ugandans who represented over 70% of the country's labour force.

Benefits

Besides improving production efficiency, mechanisation encourages large-scale production and improves the quality of farm produce. Morris Rwakakamba, the special presidential assistant in charge of research and information, says a lot is needed to ensure that mechanisation is promoted at a large scale.

"The Government needs to strengthen the current mechanisation policy; commit funds for the farmers and private sector to acquire farm machinery and equipment," he says. Rwakakamba adds that there is also need to promote local manufacture of farm tools and equipment for post harvest handling and creating Government-managed central and regional workshops to provide technical back-stopping and critical maintenance services.

Government support

"The Government has tried to put all these in place. But since the system is new in Uganda, it takes time for the common people to adapt to it," Rwakakamba explains. Mechanised operations are largely limited to land preparation; 8% utilise draught animal power and 2% use tractors.

The Government has come up with many programmes that have helped farmers in Uganda improve their farming and National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS) has been the lead. Farmers have been provided with equipment and quality seeds, which has helped them grow on large scale.
Original Article Here

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