Uganda Agricultural News and Research Digest – August 7th
Farmers want tighter seed policy
East African Business Week
Ugandan farmers have urged the government to strengthen the national seed policy if they are to identify and abolish counterfeits seeds from the market. The many counterfeit seeds on the market are blamed on the farmers who don't research on the seeds they intend to use.
The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has announced a contribution of $2 million to the World Food Programme in support of enhanced nutrition and higher household incomes in Karamoja. The KOICA funds will help provide 12,000 food-insecure people with training as well as inputs for production and marketing of vegetables, mostly cowpea, eggplant and cabbage.
The Standard Digital News
Increased coffee theft and lack of strategies to end the vice has impacted negatively on farmers and has forced foreign transporters to use the Tanzanian route for safety. It has emerged that coffee transporters contracted by Ugandan and Rwandese companies are diverting from Kenyan highways to Tanzanian routes due to increased coffee theft.
The already limping floriculture industry has suffered another setback after Bukalasa Agricultural College in Luweero phased out a diploma course in floriculture. The programme, which started in 2007 with funding from the Netherlands government, aimed at filling the skills labour gap by producing managers and supervisors to work in floriculture firms. However, according to the Bukalasa Academic Registrar, Emmanuel Adengu, there has been little interest shown by students in the course, forcing them to scrap the programme this academic year.
East African Business Week
In recent years, Uganda's large breweries, Nile Breweries, opted to locally source barley for their malting processes. Kapchorwa and Bukwo on the slopes of Mount Elgon were some of the few areas that the crop can thrive. However, farmers report that barley farming is very challenging and yet it does not bring in good returns. “We have been producing barley at a higher cost and yet we are getting low prices for it. We buy barley seeds at Ush1,250 a kilogram and then sell the same crop at Ush800 a kilogram to Nile Breweries. We believe that the buying farm gate price needs to change to Ush1,500 a kilogram. This will at least bring in significant profits to the farmer", farmer Wilfred Kusuro said.
Heavy 'nutrient mining' — the unreplenished removal by crops of soil nutrients such as phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium — by smallholder farmers has left most soils in Eastern Africa's Great Lakes region infertile and unproductive, a new study has shown. Investigations carried out from 2007 to 2011 in four agro-ecological regions of Rwanda and south-western Uganda looked at the impact on banana plants. They revealed that poor soil fertility was responsible for diminishing banana yields during that period, with 5 and 30 tons produced per hectare compared to a potential yield of over 70 tons per hectare.
Agricultural and food policy research
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T Matsumoto, T Yamano & D Serunkuuma – Tokyo Workshop on International Development, 2012
We use a randomized control trial to measure how the free distribution of modern inputs for maize production affects their adoption in the subsequent season. Information collected through sales workshops where modern inputs were sold revealed that the average purchase quantity of free-input recipients was much higher than that of non-recipients; that of the neighbours of recipients fell in-between. Also, credit sales had a large impact on purchase quantity, and the yield performance of plots where the free inputs had been applied positively affected the purchase quantities of both recipients and the neighbours with whom they shared information on farming.
J Baffes & A Onal. Chapter 5 of African Agricultural Reforms, MA Aksoy, ed. The World Bank - 2012.
During the 1980s, Vietnam exported no coffee at all, whereas Uganda was one of Africa’s largest coffee producers, accounting for a little over 2 percent of global coffee supplies. Uganda also had the reputation of producing the world’s best Robusta coffee. Since the early 2000s, Vietnam has become the world’s second largest coffee producer after Brazil and the top supplier of Robusta coffee, accounting for 15 percent of the world’s coffee in 2006. Uganda’s coffee production has stagnated, averaging about 3 percent of global coffee supplies, barely matching its 1980s production levels. This chapter focuses on the likely reasons behind such a performance gap. It argues that the gap reflects, in part, the way that these countries respond to shocks, both positive and negative, external and internal.
M Ochan – Master thesis, 2012 - Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences
This study use an action-research approach to examine a development project at Nabiswa secondary school in Uganda with teachers and students of agriculture. It was aimed at facilitating the teaching/learning process in agriculture, empowering the students with knowledge and skills, as well as learning about project-based learning by doing it. The participants created a project-based learning environment with agricultural tasks performed by the students in groups under the facilitation of the teachers. Learning in a project based approach happens through the mistakes made by the learners in the process of doing tasks. The sharing of the experiences in a reflective way contributes to better learning. Students develop reasoning & problem solving abilities besides team work, leadership and communication skills..