Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has encouraged farmers to embrace modern technology so as to get high yields.
He also asked the farmers to change in their attitude and instead be calculative and use fertilizers to increase productivity of their production activities.
“A tractor can do 5 acres per day but a human being can take a month. We are not only going to end with tractors. You have heard that that we opened up a phosphate fertilizer factory in Tororo,” Museveni said.
According to a State House statement, President Museveni made the remarks recently at the commissioning and handover of agricultural machinery and vehicles to agricultural extension workers to promote agricultural mechanization in the country.
The consignment that was procured by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) at almost Shs46 billion includes 12 pieces of earth moving equipment, 284 tractors, 126 vehicles allotted to district local governments and 1061 motorcycles for Sub-Counties.
The President, while touring exhibitions showcasing different value-added agricultural products, encouraged local leaders in the country to share the knowledge of modern agriculture with the farmers in the villages at Namalere Agricultural Referral Mechanization centre in Wakiso District.
“God gave us the example of the parable of talents. Some lost them, some did not multiply them but those who multiplied them were rewarded. God gives you a responsibility to wake up people who do not know. If you do not carry out your responsibility, you might be shut from heaven,” the president said.
The President, who also launched the farmers’ register for purposes of recording all farmers at the village level in every parish, observed that it was a good plan which would help to track the progress made by farmers so that lazy and hardworking ones are easily found out.
He handed over agricultural tool kits to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government, to Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Gulu Archdiocese and Deputy Mufti of Uganda, Sheikh Muhammad Ali Waisswa to help their respective communities to further the fight against household poverty in their respective regions.
Agriculture Minister Vincent Sempijja commended President Museveni for being the chief mobiliser of teaching farmers how to get out of poverty.
He said that most of the farmers have now started embracing modern farming methods.
Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Permanent Secretary, Pius Wakabi, said that that the procured equipment must be put to the purposes for which they were intended and only at permitted occasions would they be used outside the scope of the prescribed work.
“Motorcycles should be used for mobility of extension workers. We shall be closely watching the mileage,” he remarked.
Mr Wakabi noted that there has been tremendous economic growth of the dairy products to US130 million in 2017 to 2018 from US$50 million in 2015 to 2016.
He requested government to consider setting up more strategic and vital infrastructure such as laboratories to improve the quality of agricultural products through ample research.
By David Sseguya