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Expo: Treat Farming As A Business – NAADS 

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By Carol Kasujja Adii and Michael Odeng 

The National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) has urged Ugandans to treat farming as a business.

“Our expectation is to create more awareness about farming and to encourage people to treat it as a business. Many Ugandans treat farming as an alternative venture, which is a bad practice. Until you dedicate time to farming as a business project, you will never manage it as a business,” Khadija Nakakande, the NAADS spokesperson said.

She was speaking during the Vision Group’s Harvest Money Expo going on at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds on yesterday (Friday, February 10). The expo ends on Sunday, February 12. 

Nakakande rallied Ugandans to invest time and money in agriculture if they are to gain from it. “NAADS will support you by adding value to your products,” she said.

NAADS is one of the sponsors of the seventh edition of the Harvest Money expo 2023, organised by the Vision Group. Other sponsors are the Kingdom of Netherlands, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Pepsi, ENGSOL, RIELA/ UPFRONT, Agricultural Credit Facility (ACF), Uganda Warehouse Receipt System Authority (UWRSA), Champrisa International and State House Uganda.   

Nakakande disclosed that NAADS is currently focusing on high value crops such as hass avocado and macademia that the Government is promoting because of its potential fetch high returns on the international market. She added that NAADS is looking at how to increase export earnings.  

“We have been used to coffee, tea and fish as our main exports as a country, but now, we are diversifying these crops by adding hass avocado and macademia to what we grow, because they have a big market in Arab countries, Europe and North America. Macademia trees take four years to grow and nine months to harvest, but at the end of the day, farmers will be able to get more revenue,” she said.  

Nakakande revealed that the seedling for macademia costs sh10,000 while hass avocado is sh7000. She pledged that those growing crops on a large scale will receive seeds at a subsidised cost.

“Large-scale farmers shall pay 30% of the total price. We are also devising means of implementing a five-year programme on how to add value to Ugandan agricultural products because what we are producing is enough,” she said.

According to her, NAADS plans to support the fruit sector so that fruits do not rot and go to waste. “You can solar-dry pineapples and use the product to make wine, juice, and other drinks. 

Khadijah Nakakande, the public relations officer for NAADS with farmers supported by NAADS interacting with farmers who visited their stall at the Harvest Money Expo on Day One (Friday, February 10) at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds. All photos by Herbert Musoke

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