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Re: Fixing Uganda's Extension System

27.09.2012
Christopher

The biggest problem here is that both parents and government have not trained the young generation to love agriculture. Due to the status of my job, I walk through very many villages a month visiting many farmer groups and speak to as many young people as I can, there are some discoveries;

Agriculture is taken as work for illitrates,failures and very poor people! whenever you talk about agriculture, a young graduate sense trouble! I should not deny this fact, for sure many rural dwellers practicing agriculture are very poor. Many of them are not even able to produce what is enough for their family and others produce on a subsistence level. This is because these farmers have not been empowered to fully exploit their potential, changes in climatic conditions, agriculture mechanisation (Hoe is the only easily acccessible tool), poor farming methods, lack of farmer enterpreneural skills are just some of the challenges.

We are all equally concerned about the development of agriculture in our country so however small an effort may be, it will add value. If have no extension work skills, work hard to organise farmers into groups then consult concerned organisations to give support. Most of these organisations extend services such as training, market information, Credit and savings etc for free.

Forexample, Grameen Foundation extends farmer advisory services using Mobile phone applications. FIT Uganda Ltd,-Agricultural Market Information Services
Localized Agricultural Market Information ( LAMIS)
Value Chain Market Information Services ( VARMIS)
Farm Record Management Services (FARMIS)

PELUM Uganda’s Innovative delivery model of market information services through community Radios. Agri-Hub Uganda, promoting farmer enterpreneurship, Care Uganda-training farmers to save money and provide loans amongst themselves through VSLAs (Village Savings and Loans Association) and many other companies and organisations.

The point of creating demostration farms is very important and simple way to help farmers develop and improve their agricultural activities. Our company Pig Production and Marketing Uganda Limited works directly with farmers having interest or involved in piggery. In our developmental projects, we are working hard to create Pig demostration farms per subcounty to act as training grounds for farmers and other stake holders in the pig value chain.

We should not forget to talk about corruption, a root cause of failure in most bodies created by government to offer extension Services. Informed farmers must work hard to organise themselves and handle such developments independently to prevent losses from corrupt officials.