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NAADS, Ministry Inspect Planting Materials

by Wangah Wanyama
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By Mary Karugaba

As part of the preparation for the upcoming planting season that is expected to begin in March 2024, the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) working with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) and technical staff from the District Local Governments has conducted an inspection and verification exercise for planting materials (seed and seedlings).

The exercise is intended to assure the quality of the planting materials to be delivered and distributed to beneficiary farmers.

In the current Financial Year 2023/24, the NAADS secretariat received funds for the procurement and distribution of Soybean seed, cashew nuts, Hass Avocado and Macadamia seedlings.

Thus the exercise is focused on up to 4 of the commodities supported in each of the selected districts. These include soybean seed, Hass avocado, macadamia and cashew planting materials. 

According to Prossy Mutumba, a crop development specialist at NAADS, the verification exercise is undertaken to ascertain the quality and quantity of soybean, Cashew nut, Hass avocado, and macadamia planting materials available among contracted seed companies, nurseries and nucleus farmers with framework contracts. 

“We have visited eligible seed companies and nurseries on NAADS framework contracts to establish the quality of soybean seed, Hass avocado, macadamia and cashew nut plantlets among the Suppliers to ensure that we give farmers the right planting materials,” explained Mutumba 

She added that during the exercise, the experts also provide on-the-spot technical guidance and support to the seed companies, nucleus farmers and nursery operators. The information gathered from the exercise is to be used during the allocation of the seedlings and seed to different suppliers/nucleus farmers and subsequently to prepare call-off orders. 

During the 2024 season, NAADS plans to distribute over 200,000 Hass avocado seedlings, 200 tonnes of soya bean seed and over 166,000 cashew nut seedlings to ready farmers in different parts of the country. 

Macadamia, Hass avocado and cashew nuts are some of Uganda’s emerging non-traditional cash crops with enormous potential to contribute not only to the growth of the agricultural sector but increase the country’s foreign exchange earnings and improve household incomes. 

Through NAADS, the Government of Uganda is supporting strategic interventions for promoting and scaling up the production of emerging non-traditional high-value crops including Macadamia, Hass Avocado and vegetable oil crops for household incomes and export earnings in line with the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries Value Chain Strategy.

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