Ugandan maize and bean farmers have been experiencing inconsistent messages regarding the growing of maize and beans delivered by extension workers, something that undermined their productivity.
Now however, with support from the USAID support, the Government of Uganda has developed and launched revised agricultural manuals to help maize and beans farmers shift from subsistence farming to commercial agriculture.
The educational and informational materials were created with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Feed the Future’s Uganda Enabling Environment for Agriculture Activity.
Speaking at the launch of the manuals recently, USAID Mission Director Joakim Parker said: “Uganda, which is largely an agricultural country, is improving its global competitiveness, particularly in commodity crops like coffee and vanilla.
However, farming communities must be educated and prepared to adjust their agricultural operations within the context of globalization, responding to trends and consumer tastes in Uganda and beyond. This responsibility largely falls on the national agricultural extension system that must adapt to cope with international standards.”
Beans and maize are two of the 12 strategic commodities prioritized by the Ministry of Agriculture, as part of the government’s Vision 2040 plan to transform Ugandan into a modern and prosperous country within 30 years.
In 2016, Uganda produced 2.6 million and 600,000 metric tons of maize and beans respectively. The government aims to produce 10 million metric tons of both maize and beans by 2020.
Critical to achieving these production goals are strengthened extension services, mechaniation, and improved post-harvest handling practices.
The U.S. government’s Feed the Future Initiative has worked hand-in-hand with the Ugandan government and the agricultural sector to boost incomes and support a food secure future for Ugandans.
Feed the Future is the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative which supports partner countries in developing their agriculture sectors to spur economic growth and trade that increase incomes and reduce hunger, poverty and undernutrition.