On the 13th of May 2019, a team from the World Bank kicked off the 2019 mission aimed at evaluating progress and highlighting opportunities under the Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP).
The team which started their activities with an official meeting with the Permanent Secretary Mr. Pius Wakabi Kasajja was taken through presentations on progress by Component Managers of each one of the four Components of ACDP.
Notable ACDP progress to date
The ACDP Project, which is a partnership project with the World Bank, is implemented with the main objective “To increase production, productivity and marketable volumes of five commodities including Coffee, Maize, Beans, Cassava and Rice in 12 geographical clusters.”
The e-voucher system
The E-Voucher System was introduced to subsidize agro-inputs for a targeted 131,500 farmers on the basis of a subsidy programme.
The system was officially launched in Kalungu district on November 9, 2018. The launch was graced by the Members of Parliament on the Agriculture and Economy Committees of Parliament and attended by representatives from all the five (5) pilot districts – where each district received a double cabin pickup to facilitate project activities.
As at the end of April 2019, the enrolled farmers had reached 12,950.
Capacity Building for Target Beneficiaries
Development and translation of E-Voucher and Commodity IEC materials for training of subsidy beneficiaries is ongoing. Three (3) internal meetings were held in April 2019 to review the drafts of the Popular Versions submitted by the E-VMA. Major changes were suggested on the content and graphics; five (5) drafts, one for each project commodity, are to be submitted for further review by end of April 2019. The E-Voucher materials were customized to the different categories of users (system administrator, commodity officers, input dealers, extension workers, farmers). They include: (i) training manuals for the 5 commodities; (ii) financial literacy and; (iii) system use.
For quality assurance of agro-inputs, training was carried out in 30 districts in western, central and eastern Uganda and these involved a total of 706 stakeholders, mainly agro-input dealers and agricultural extension workers.
Support for improved soil testing and appropriate fertiliser use
In order to establish soil nutrient levels in the project area and inform selection of appropriate fertilizers, the project procured 200 soil testing kits, for use by the extension workers to test soils in the farmers’ fields. Distribution of the kits to the districts will be undertaken after a training for district extension workers scheduled for Quarter 3 of the Financial Year 2018/19.
Farmer grouping and enrollment
An exercise was conducted to profile and register all farmer organisations, including their memberships, and agro-input dealers, in the 13 roll-out districts. The exercise commenced in December 2018 in collaboration with the District Production staff and so far, up to 49,553 farmers belonging to 3,459 farmer groups have been profiled and registered. This is in addition to the 37,719 farmers that were registered by MUIIS in the pilot districts (Amuru – 5,905; Iganga – 16,114; Kalungu – 4,699; Nebbi – 5,076; Ntungamo – 5,925). The total registration stands at 87,272.
Further implementation of the National Agricultural Extension Strategy
Following the restructuring process, the project took on board some activities aimed at piloting the National Agriculture Extension Strategy (NAES) among which is operationalization of the e-extension and advisory system developed under the Agricultural Technology and Agribusiness Advisory Services (ATAAS) Project. Activities planned included: (i) validation of the e-extension and advisory system; (ii) ToT for MAAIF and extension staff on system use; (iii) installation of toll-free lines; (iv) piloting the e-diary and delivery in the Ministry and sector and (v) develop radio spot messages and conduct radio talk shows on value added agricultural knowledge and information.
About the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF)
The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries is a Ministry in the Government of Uganda charged with creating an enabling environment in the Agricultural Sector.
The Ministry formulates, reviews and implement national policies, plans, strategies, regulations and standards and enforce laws, regulations and standards along the value chain of crops, livestock and fisheries.
Vision: A competitive, profitable and sustainable agricultural sector.
Mission: To transform subsistence farming to commercial agriculture.
See strategic objectives here.
See Agriculture Sector Strategic Plan here.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) is made up of four Directorates including the Directorate of Crop Resources, Directorate of Animal Resources, Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services and the Directorate of Fisheries Resources each with Departments, Divisions and Partnership Projects.
The Departments of the Ministry which do not fall directly in the above include the Department of Agricultural Planning and Development, the Human Resource Department, the Department of Finance and Administration and the Department of Agricultural Infrastructure, Mechanisation and Water for Agricultural Production.
The Ministry is also made up of seven Agencies including the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), Cotton Development Organisation (CDO), Dairy Development Authority (DDA), Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) and Coordinating Office for the Control of Trypanosomiasis in Uganda (COCTU) and the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Databank (NAGRC&DB).