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Home News ASARECA Seeks Local Manufacturers For Low-Cost Agriculture Equipment

ASARECA Seeks Local Manufacturers For Low-Cost Agriculture Equipment

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Prossy Nandudu

80% of the food is from smallholder farmers, who farm on small land holdings of five acres and below. Because of the small land holding, production is usually low.

For these farmers to produce more food, using the same piece of land, they will have to embrace low-cost productivity and enhancing technologies.

Technologies being considered include water-saving technologies, storage, drying, harvesting, irrigation, and land opening, among others.

The above technologies will be supplemented with technologies from researchers like soil fertility enhancers, and seeds that mature faster with limited water and in dryer conditions so that farmers can increase production from their small land holdings five times more.

The observation was made by Dr Enock Warinda, the executive director of the Association of Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) on Monday.

A farmer checks on the rice coming from the machine.
A farmer checks on the rice coming from the machine.

This was on the sidelines of a regional review meeting on the Strengthening Agricultural Knowledge & Innovation Ecosystem for Inclusive Rural Transformation & Livelihoods in Eastern Africa (AIRTEA) project, at Fairway Hotel in Kampala.

For the machinery, Warinda said scouting has already been done in China and Zambia, but because of the high costs of transportation, attention has been shifted to local fabricators within the ASARECA member countries.

He added that for local fabricators to product efficient and appropriate machinery, they will need the support of governments through subsidies or capital to acquire the raw materials.

“As ASARECA we are still trying to survey. I have been to China to check some of the machines. I have also checked on some from Zambia for irrigation. Irrigation machinery there has good steel so wear and tear is minimal but shipping costs remain a challenge,” Warinda said.

The five-day review meeting, will among other things share preliminary results achieved by third-party projects, discuss challenges uncounted and share lessons learnt during implementation and discuss the way forward in the implementation of the projects among others.

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