Agriculture minister cautions seed multipliers on quality

Agriculture Minister, Frank Tumwebaze (3rd R)tests one of the motorcycles donated to his inspectors as officials from AGRA and Ministry of Agriculture look on. PHOTO BY JANE NAFULA 

What you need to know:

  • Mr Tumwebaze admitted that some of the seed multipliers who are not regularly monitored by the responsible authorities are sometimes tempted to supply poor quality seeds, a practice that was contributing to low farm yields recorded by some farmers.

Agriculture Minister, Frank Tumwebaze has urged seed multipliers to adhere to quality standards to ensure farmers get access to seeds that would give them high yields.
Mr Tumwebaze admitted that some of the seed multipliers who are not regularly monitored by the responsible authorities are sometimes tempted to supply poor quality seeds, a practice that was contributing to low farm yields recorded by some farmers. 
The minister revealed this after receiving a donation of 100 motorcycles from Alliance of Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) on Wednesday. 

  He said the donation would ease mobility of government seed inspectors at the headquarters and district levels to ensure that seed multipliers adhere to the required quality.
“We are so grateful. We recognize your contribution towards this noble cause,” Mr Tumwebaze said.
 AGRA country manager in Uganda, Mr John Jagwe said the alliance is committed to strengthening seed inspection and certification in Uganda.
He said that in 2018, AGRA extended a grant of Shs1.3 billion to the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industries and Fisheries towards strengthening the National Certification Service. 
He noted that a total of 18 government inspectors across the country received refresher training while 104 extension workers were given specialized training in seed inspection and equipped to work as para- inspectors to support the limited number of seed inspectors employed by the ministry. 

To support the activity, AGRA donated a pickup-to the National Seed Certification services unit, department of crop inspection and certification of the Ministry of Agriculture.
 He further explained that to enhance the implementation of digital seed tracking and tracing system in the post Covid period, a total of 100 motorbikes and 79 tablets have been purchased with part of the grant at a total cost of Shs958 million. 
 They will be used by para-seed inspectors in conducting seed inspection of seed multiplication sites while the tablets will help in transferring of information  to the seed traceability  and tracking system being rolled out by the ministry to ensure seed quality.

The National Seed Policy of 2018 provides a framework for enhancing the performance of the seed sub-sector in Uganda. 
The Vision of the policy is a competitive, profitable and sustainable seed sub-sector where farmers and all seed users have access to affordable quality seed” 
In addition to the policy, Uganda’s set a target of ensuring that at least 2 out 3 of all farmers should be using either certified or quality declared seed by the year, 2030.
Analysts say that although there has been concerted efforts by government erosion of certified seeds within the Ugandan seed system continue to linger.

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