The Uganda Peoples Defence Forces with not take over the National Agricultural Advisory Services (Naads) but will instead complement the programme and other development agencies to ensure comprehensive security to the country, the presidential adviser on security, has said.
According to Gen. Salim Saleh, the UPDF knows its role and ‘where we are going.’
“We do not want and we shall not get involved in distribution of seeds neither are we going to determine who gets what. We want to start from a slightly higher level of empowering farmer groups find better markets,” he said during a graduation ceremony of 300 uniformed officers this week following a two-week Agricultural Induction Training at Makerere University’s College of Agriculture and Environment (CAES) .
The officers graduated with certificates in different agriculture-related aspects, including agricultural engineering, farm enterprise and accounting, crop production and protection, fertiliser use, poultry management among others. The training, according to Gen. Saleh was part of the operation wealth creation.
“But when you hear politicians saying that the UPDF has come to take over Naads, you wonder,” he added.
Prof. Bernard Bashasha, the Principal CAES said, partnership with the UPDF is in line with one of the college’s core functions, which is community engagement and involvement for development.
The participants were selected from various sub-counties across the country and are expected to complement Naads services in their respective communities. While Uganda’s economic growth is estimated to be at a six percent rate, agriculture grows at two percent, and the sector is also allocated only tree percent of the national budget.