Monday March 28 2016

Small holder farmers to benefit from Shs22b seed fund

By Jonathan Adengo

KAMPALA. Smallholder farmers are set to benefit from a $6.6m (Shs22b) new agriculture project that is aimed at improving the quality of legume seeds produced.
Under the project, seed companies will work with the donors over the next five years to better the quality of the seeds they produce, according to Mr Boniface Mugisa, the project team leader in Uganda.

Talking to Daily Monitor in Kampala recently, he said: “The small holder farmers will benefit by increasing their sales and profits.”
According to him, the legume seed project will also help the small holder farmers’ access to government certified and quality legume seed varieties.
“Promoting certified and quality legume seed varieties in Uganda is very important as the seeds are more tolerant to diseases and drought, which leads to increased yields for farmers,” he said.

He added that this will not only drive growth but also contribute to further reducing rural poverty.
“It provides potential increases in net income for farmers, resulting from diversification of crops, improved soil health, and an increased source of low cost, reliable protein for Ugandans,” he explained.
The Legume Seeds project will focus on establishing seed companies which will in turn compete for the $2.3m prize.

Food security
The Uganda Legume Seeds Pilot Project was set up in a bid to improve food security in Uganda and is managed by Lutheran World Relief, which is part of larger global initiative; the AgResults Initiative; a multi-donor, multi-lateral initiative.
The initiative rewards high-impact agricultural innovations that promote global food security, health, and nutrition through the design and implementation of pull mechanism pilots.