ED NAADS Urges the Media to report positively about Agriculture
The Executive Director of the National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS) Dr. Samuel Mugasi has urged the members of the media fraternity to support government in spreading the message of embracing farming as a business especially among the youth.
While addressing editors and reporters from different media houses in Kampala during a sensitization meeting on NAADS new strategic direction, Dr. Mugasi said the future of Uganda and Africa at large is entrenched in agriculture.
“By 2050, the global population is projected to be 10 billion people and all these will need food. That is why Uganda and other African countries need to position themselves well to become the major suppliers of food across the world”, said Mugasi.
He said NAADS intervention over the years have contributed to the food security in the country citing the abundance of food during the Covid 19 pandemic.
“We believe that our support to farmers with agricultural inputs especially the planting materials has a significant contribution to the reduction in the percentage of farmers in subsistence farming from 68 to 39”, said Mugasi.
He said the media has the power to persuade people and therefore should use this power positively first of all engaging in farming as a business and spreading the message of farming as a business.
About NAADS new strategic direction, Dr. Mugasi said NAADS has moved away from giving free agricultural inputs to farmers and is now using the approach of co-funding for sustainable agricultural value chains. Under this approach, government pays 70% of the cost of seedlings/seeds while the farmer pays for the remaining 30%.
He told the media that NAADS is now focusing on implementing an intervention for promoting/scaling of emerging high value strategic commodities notably, hass avocado, macadamia and cashew nuts under the nucleus farmer partnership strategy.
He said Uganda’s economy has been largely dependent on coffee, tea and other major agricultural exports but now the country is diversifying to include other high value crops like hass avocado and macadamia which have a high demand both in the local and international markets.