Deepen extension services to boost agriculture - Tumwebaze says

Mr Frank Tumwebaze, the Agriculture minister

What you need to know:

In order to sustain the commercialisation of agriculture even at a small holder level, technology combined with attracting the younger people into this space is critical

Policy makers and development partners, have said attracting the youth into agriculture, which remains the single biggest challenge, would generate rapid growth in the economy. 

In order to sustain the commercialisation of agriculture even at a small holder level, technology combined with attracting the younger people into this space is critical. In this stride, information technology is a big tool.

Mr Frank Tumwebaze, Minister of Agriculture,said that there is need to change the way in which agriculture is currently presented.

“Look at the content on social media. Look at the videos and those on TikTok. Where is the content about agriculture? It is missing,” Mr Tumwebaze said.

This was revealed during the agricultural experts are meeting in Kampala for the 5th Africa-Wide Agricultural Extension week brainstorming on ways to improve agricultural extension services to also make them reach more people

He added: “If we must feed the current generation, it is not my grandmother struggling to cut the leaves of tea. It is now that you have to show somebody in jeans and branded clothes.”

Since agriculture is ceasing to be for mainly subsistence, infusing science-led interventions according to experts cannot be over emphasized.

Mr Silim Nahdy, executive director, African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services, (AFAAS) cited a number of ranges ranging from the soil fertility which is heavily declining because people are over mining.

Currently, government is putting a lot of emphasis on supporting the strengthening of agricultural extension and advisory services delivery.

Agriculture      

Agriculture in Africa is predominantly subsistence, dominated by smallholders, low levels of productivity across all agricultural value chains affecting food security and incomes from agriculture. The extension and advisory services meant to address these challenges among the smallholder farmers are not adequately accessible and professionally recognised. Further issues include uncertain land tenure systems, difficulty in obtaining credit or other financial products, lack of capital for fertilisers and seed, poor access to market information and high transaction costs in accessing markets.

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