20 February 2019

Uganda: Project Boosts Farmers' Productivity By 70 Per Cent

Kampala — Access to timely weather information, insurance cover and input loan has increased farmers output by 70 per cent, a study has shown.

According to Market-led, User-owned ICT4Ag-enabled Information Service, a pilot project that was launched in 2015, more than 250,000 farmers profiled recorded an increase in output of about 70 per cent

"Farmers who subscribed to a bundle realised a sizeable increase in maize productivity of upto 67 per cent and an average increase from $520 (Shs1.9m) per hectare for non-beneficiaries to $800 (Shs2.9m) for beneficiaries," the report reads in part.

The project sought to find ways through which agriculture can be modernised by providing critical information in the sector through different activities such as increased maize, soyabean, beans and sesame productivity among 54 farmers' groups.

Speaking during the conclusion of the project that started in 2015, Mr Christopher Kibazanga, the Agriculture sate minister, said the project is instrumental since it creates a database for farmers in Uganda.

"We have already registered 250,000 farmers. That is not a small number and now we do not have to duplicate services," he said.

Through the project weather alerts, agronomic tips and financial services sensitization of farmers, are sent to different stakeholders, which Mr Kibazanga said has the capacity to reduce resources spent by government on farmer extension services by at least 70 per cent.

Extension workers guide farmers on useful agronomic practices at village level.

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