Uganda has only 1600 extension workers mandated to serve 4,000, 000 million farmer households in Uganda giving a ratio of 1: 2500 farmer households.
The rural nature of most farms remains a challenge to graduate and fresh extension workers from college as these fresh professionals often prefer enjoying the trappings of peri-urban life.
How do we crack this state of affairs? Do we leave solutions to policy makers and technocrats? Do we call for reinstatement and restoration of regional district farm demonstrations and stock farms?
A solution may perhaps lie in a stronger role of the private sector such as engaging in public –private partnerships and embracing technology. There is a pool of Extension Link farmers that were in late 1990’s trained by Uganda National Farmers Federation all over Uganda. Mobile phones technology can be used to complement extension efforts. Could such a model bring down the current expansive farmer-extension worker ratio and abridge the current information gap at the farm level?
in Lamwo district of Northern Uganda, sesame is majorly grown in plots that were fallowed the previous year(s) as such plots have high organic matter content and thus high fertility. This practice however limits the elderly from participating in sesame production (yet it is among the major income generating crops) because farmers have to go far from homesteads (an average of about 6 Km) to access the fallowed or virgin plots. An elderly farmer asked me how they could improve the fertility of the plots around the homesteads so that they are able to use them for sesame production. I would love to get views and experiences from colleagues on this issue.
Robert Okello Omach
Agricultural Development Officer
Mercy Corps Uganda.
Food systems provide for all people’s nutritional needs, while at the same time contributing to economic growth. The food and agriculture sector has the primary role in feeding people well by increasing availability, affordability, and consumption of diverse, safe, nutritious foods and diets,aligned with dietary recommendations and environmental sustainability. Applying these principles helps strengthen resilience and contributes to sustainable development.
Poultry feeding becomes more critical and expensive during prolonged winter, snow cover and cold weather in rural areas of north Afghanistan. In order to overcome the problem and reduce the cost of feeding in winter season when the chicken has no access for scavenging outside the coop a new well proved technique of hydroponic forage and pulses sprouting was introduced in five targeted districts of Balkh and Jauzjan provinces of North Region by the Backyard Poultry Development Project funded by International Fund for Agriculture Development(IFAD) through the Rural Microfinance and Livestock Support Program (RMLSP) of Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock(MAIL) of Afghanistan. The technique was very well adopted nearly by 5000 women beneficiaries with very good results of 30% increase in egg production and raising healthy chickens/layers, and positive impact on food security and improved livelihood of rural farming families