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Nabbanja Asks Researchers, Farmers To Collaborate On Commercialisation

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Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja has called on researchers to teach farmers how to make money from the crop varieties and livestock breeds they produce.

The move, Nabbanja says, will encourage farmers to increase production, which later will increase food for both commercial and food security purposes.

She made the call on Sunday while officiating at the World Day Food celebrations, that took place at the National Crop Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), Namulonge in Wakiso district.

The celebrations were held under the theme Leave No One Behind, Better Production, Better Nutrition Better Environment and a Better Environment.

Nabbanja and agriculture minister Frank Tumwebaza listen to the director of ZARDI Mukono as she explains how urban farming works. Photo by Prossy Nandudu

According to Nabbanja, research institutions exhibited many crop varieties that can make Uganda a food basket if farmers are given tips on how to turn these into commercial farming.

She added that some parts of the country are currently experiencing food insecurity, an issue which she asked researchers and all stakeholders in the agriculture to find solutions.

Funding needs

She also pledged to support the demand for increased funds towards research, following a report from National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) executive director, Dr Yona Baguma, who said the organisation needs sh300bn annually to effectively carry out research.

He also said the low salaries for scientists has led to an exodus of sciences to higher institutions of learning, regional and international research centres.

Baguma also called for the government’s support for land meant for research to be protected and gazetted to prevent land grabbers who have encroached on most of it.

Ministry’s intervention 

On increasing agriculture production for food security, agriculture minister Frank Tumwebaze assured said they have embarked on the promotion of two farming systems: Intensive for those with four acres or less and extensive farming for those with five acres above.

In addition, specific crop commodities have also been identified for the two farming systems, a move which is expected to ensure there is enough, affordable, safe and nutritious food for all.

A representative from the World Food Programme called for homegrown solutions to ending hunger, which he said should be accompanied by strengthening local food and home grown and community solutions for the people to adapt and become resilient in times of shocks and crisis.

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