31 January 2013

Uganda: Govt to Build Fertilizer Firms

In the move to alleviate poverty and create more enterprises, the Government has promised to increase crop production through the construction of several agricultural organic fertiliser firms.

Agriculture minister Tress Bucyanayandi said the low performance of the agricultural sector is a result of the reducing fertility of the country's soils.

"Our soils have lost the necessary nutrients due to poor farming methods. We need to improve the quality of our farming soils so that we can get high yields," Buchanayandi said.

He added that the Government has accessed four places in Kampala, Kasese and Hoima, where fertiliser firms can be built to provide local farmers with cheap and organic products.

Buchanayandi said the oil production will have a lot of residue that can be used in fertiliser production.

He made the remarks during the launch of Dynapham-NAADS agricultural competitions at the Uganda Manufacturers Association in Kampala recently.

The minister urged the farmers to embrace the use of organic fertilisers, saying when used, they increase production by 10%.

NAADS planning and monitoring manager Francis Byekwaso said: "We believe by using new technologies such as fertilisers and certified seed, the food insecure farmers who constitute 68% of the farmers in Uganda will have enough to eat and surplus to sell and gradually move from being subsistence farmers to market-oriented and later commercial."

"This initiative will, therefore, go a long way in contributing to the President's vision of increasing household income to sh20m per year," Byekwaso added.

He said the competition mainly targets subsistence farmers with land holding of a quarter to two acres, who constitute 68% of the farming community in Uganda.

A prize of $10,000 will be won by the best farmer in each zone. Lucky Group and Future Group donated irrigation equipment worth sh20m and a tractor worth sh45m respectively to be won at the national level.

The competitions are organised in line with the Government's agricultural zoning strategy.

The agricultural zones are Buginyanya (Bugishu, Busoga and Bukedi sub-regions), Kachewekano (Kigezi), Mukono (Buganda region), Mbarara (Ankole region), Bulindi (Hoima, Greater Hoima), Rwebitaba (Toro region), Ngetta (Acholi and Lango), Abi (West Nile), Nabuin (Teso and Karamoja).

The competitions are supported by Lucky Group, Future Group, FICA Seeds, Vision Group and Diamond Trust Bank.

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