‘Few farmers buy improved seeds from formal markets’

Agriculture experts have revealed that just 13 per cent of farmers in Uganda buy improved seeds from formal market. The small percentage of the few farmers who buy seed is still a challenge to agricultural productivity, according a World Bank report.

During a farmers’ meeting in Kampala, James Mugunisa, theme coordinator, Sasakawa Global 2000, said the report indicates few farmers are buying improved seeds.

“Since the country depends on agriculture, this percentage of farmers is still very low compared to the demand,” he said, adding that the number needs to increase to at least 70 per cent because the seeds purchased does not meet the desired quantity of production. “If we want to radically create sustainable growth and provide an engine for socio-economic aancement at the least cost possible, the best strategy is to change our approach towards the agricultural sector.”

Untapped potential
However, Dr Roselline Nyamatale, country director, Sasakawa Global 2000, observed that the counterfeiting of seeds has also led to low production.
“Poor quality production has kicked Ugandan farmers out of the competition both for exports and own consumption,” she said.

She urged the government to intervene and stem the problem of fake seeds, which is affecting the agricultural sector. “Though we have implemented some measures, more is still needed to fight against fake seeds.”

Agriculture employs most of Uganda’s population, directly and indirectly, and it is where there is a huge comparative aantage in the region and internationally, in the production of most agricultural products.

With 57 per cent of the land mass being arable and 68 per cent of this still unutilised, there is untapped potential.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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