Govt gives fertilisers to 50,000 Busoga farmers

The State minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Mr Fred Bwino Kyakulaga (2nd left), hands over fertilisers to farmers  in Mayuge District on June 19, 2024. PHOTO/TAUSI NAKATO

What you need to know:

  • The fertilisers are meant to double the yields of farmers and improve household incomes.

The government has launched a project under which it will deliver 80,000 bags of fertilisers to 50,000 smallholder farmers in Busoga Sub-region.
Speaking at the launch on Wednesday, the State minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Mr Fred Bwino Kyakulaga, said four districts will benefit from 3,888 tonnes of fertilisers.

“The districts that will benefit from the project include Mayuge with 18,000 bags of fertilisers, Bugiri (10,000), Namayingo (10,000) and Iganga (16,000) ,’’ he said.
Mr Kyakulaga said the government through the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has allocated Shs2 billion to purchase fertilisers to increase food production and security in Busoga Sub-region.

“The government has contracted Grainpulse Ltd to purchase fertilisers which will be supplied to farmers. Three stores will also be constructed in areas of Mayuge, Bugiri and Namayingo so that farmers can have access to fertilisers,’’ he said.
Mr Kyakulaga said they expect the farmers to double the yields after the use of the fertilisers. 

“We expect farmers to harvest five million kilogrammes of maize, 15 million kilogrammes of beans. The farmers are likely to get close to Shs40 billion,” Mr Kyakulaga said. 
He said 10,000 families will  benefit from the programme.
“As farmers in the area, we are engaging in the growing of cash crops such as sugarcane, cocoa and the oil palm [newly introduced crop in the area], government wants farmers also to focus on the growing of food crops like maize , beans and soya [beans] and the surplus is sold to improve livelihoods,’’ he said.
The Mayuge Assistant Resident District Commissioner, Mr Rogers Ntogona, said farmers have a challenge of acquiring fertilisers to boost yield. 
“Smallholder farmers often lack the collateral [security] to secure financing to buy the fertilisers. We believe increased and proper fertiliser use can significantly impact food supply and household income,’’ he said. 

Mr Paul Muzige, a local official, warned the beneficiaries against selling the fertilisers.
“We shall arrest farmers found selling the fertilisers because they are not for sale. We encourage the beneficiaries to use the fertilisers appropriately. We don’t want to find these fertilisers poured behind the houses. Previously the government gave out coffee [seedlings] but when you do research, you cannnot find them in the gardens,’’ he said.  

Ms Monica Goza Mulembe, a farmer at Bugadde Ward, Bugadde Town Council, in Mayuge District, said she had been getting low yields from her plantations due to failure to use fertilisers.
“Due to lack of fertilisers, I have been harvesting low yields compared to the cost of production in terms of buying seeds and labour, among others. I have hope that my yields will improve with the use of the fertilisers that the government has donated to us,’’ she said.
Mr Samuel Ndimubona, another farmer at Ndaiga Village, Kityerera Sub-county in Mayuge District, said he has five acres of land but he could harvest only three bags of maize. 

“My children have been demoralised because of the infertility of the land. You send the children to dig but they get very low yields. The fertilisers will boost our production,’’ he said. 
The government intervention comes at a time when farmers had used most of the land for sugarcane growing, which has caused inadequate food for consumption and poverty in Busoga Sub-region.