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Home News Gov’t Asked To Subsidize Seedlings

Gov’t Asked To Subsidize Seedlings

by Wangah Wanyama
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By Henry Sekanjako

The Government has been asked to consider subsidizing the cost of planting materials and seeds for famers, for increased food production and security.

The Government made a policy shift to stop distributing seedlings and planting materials by institutions including NAADs and operation wealth creation, after the introduction of the parish development model (PDM).

However, in their position paper on Agro industrialization program in response to the ministerial policy statement for the financial year 2023/24, to the parliamentary committee on agriculture, members of the civil society organizations implored the Government to address the high cost of quality seeds.

“The Government should reconsider subsidizing the cost of planting materials and seeds for farmers,” The CSOs under their body umbrella Civil society budget advocacy Group (CSBAG) stated in their statement.

According to the CSOs, good quality seed and planting inputs are key in improving farm yields and resilience to diseases.

Last week, Parliament directed that the Government avails sh4b for the procurement of seedlings for distribution of farmers across the country.

The CSOs noted that in order to improve the national agricultural research organization’s (NARO) capacity to carry out research and develop new high yielding seeds and planting materials recommended that sh19b be availed in the next budget to undertake research and generation of new varieties for increased yields.

NARO, has the mandate to carry out research and generate new high yielding varieties of seeds.

The committee however tasked the CSOs to propose ways through which the government can ensure sustainable provision of agricultural inputs including seedlings.

“Seeds and other planting materials are not available in time what is the sustainable way that we should adopt as a country because even free distribution of inputs didn’t work,” Robert Miggade (Buvuma Island) said.

The legislators also concurred with the CSOs on the issue of sustainable food production in the country for increased food security.

According to Janet Okori moe, the chairperson of the Government there is need to avail sh400b annually to address food insecurity.

“We are tired of Adhoc methods of hearing even when you know there is rain, People are starving and Government rushes to get supplementary budgets,” Okorie Moe said. 

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