Kampala — The National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) has refuted allegations that the Agriculture Services Providers (ASPs) used to train farmers in different farming skills are incompetent and lack the necessary skills.
Mr. Anthony Wanyoto the NAADS Public Relation Officer told the East African Business Week that their body always recruits graduates from different university repealing claims the coordinators recruited at both the district and sub county levels are below standard.
"It not true that our staffs are not qualified," stressed Wanyoto.
He says they recruit degree holds in Agriculture related courses and also people with work experiences as agricultural extension workers.
Commenting on the issue that the Agriculture Service Providers have no time for farmers, Wanyoto blamed it on the big number farmers that enrolled on the NAADS programme which he said is huge for the few NAADS staff.
Wanyoto added that their secretariat is in the process of recruiting more staff to beef up NAADS activities.
Wanyoto's reaction came following a study conducted by Economic policy Research center (EPRC) on the impact of National Agricultural Advisory Services Programme on agricultural households' production and welfare.
The study indicates that as it was in NAADS phase I, the second phase of NAADS may not progress because the same problems faced in phase I are still evident in the second phase.
"Non skilled extension workers and inadequate resources are still persisting," says the study.
According to the farmers EPRC held focus group discussion with; some Agriculture Services Providers (ASPs) are not skilled and /or experienced in extension delivery.
Some have no time for farmers coupled with the training which their providing is not practical.
"The training provided by ASPs is theoretical and thin on content. There are no practical demonstrations on fertilizers or fungicide application.
"How can you expect rural farmers to know the application of fertilizers if you have not demonstrated it practically?" wondered Mr. Geoffrey Okoboi the team leader in the study.
He also added that farmers in areas where the NAADS programme is being implemented also complain of the poor quality of inputs supplied by NAADS.