NAADS distributes 2.5 million Hoes for Food Security
Government of Uganda through the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) is distributing 2,500,000 million hoes to vulnerable rural farmers in different regions in the country as one of the initiatives to ensure food security in the country.
The intervention targets the vulnerable rural smallholder farming households which account for the bulk of the food and other agricultural products generated in the country. This category of farmers has limited access to critical farm inputs including the basic hand hoes, finance among others and mostly depend on individual savings to invest in all their agricultural undertakings, which limits their capacity to increase production.
In addition, there are areas in Uganda which make it impossible for farmers to use other improved forms of agricultural implements such as tractors due to the geographical land scape, necessitating the use of rudimentary hand hoes.
The intervention is a fulfillment of the Presidential pledge of 18 million hoes to 6 million households across the country. The provision of hand hoes targets to support the most vulnerable rural smallholder farming households to increase agricultural production considering the fact that majority of smallholder farmers cannot afford appropriate mechanization technologies for cultivation.
In fulfillment of the pledge, Government through NAADS has procured 2. 5 million hand hoes with distribution ongoing in the regions of West Nile, Teso and Karamoja. The distribution of hoes began in 2016/17 with 420,000 hand hoes and an additional 800,000 hoes in 2018/19 to support farming households in eight (8) District Local Governments of Arua, Nebbi, Zombo, Maracha, Yumbe, Adjumani, Moyo and Ngora.
Under the FY 2020/21 Budget, Parliament appropriated an additional Ushs30bn for the procurement and distribution of 2,500,000 million hand hoes.
The Executive Director NAADS Dr. Samuel Mugasi says the support is aimed at increasing access to hand hoes by smallholder farmers for purposes of enhancing agricultural production and productivity and to support government’s strategic intervention of enhancing food and nutrition security across the country.
A total of 135 District Local Governments (DLGs) and 41 Municipalities across the country are benefiting. The allocation of the hand hoes to the various District Local Government and Municipalities has been informed by the formula on “Equity Allocation of resources to DLGs” and is based on three parameters namely: population size, land area and poverty levels. The allocation formula however takes into account affirmative action considerations; such as the level of farming activities in the respective DLGs/Municipalities; food insecurity conditions in some areas – targeting particular DLGs/Municipalities with critical food insecurity situations such as Karamoja and Teso sub-regions; and existing terrain in terms conduciveness for use of other forms of mechanization/equipment such as tractors – giving priority to mountainous areas.