NAADS to distribute Tea Seedlings in 16 Districts in Current Planting Season
Government of Uganda through the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) has embarked on the process to distribute tea seedlings to farmers in 16 tea growing district of Buhweju, Bushenyi, Mitooma, Rukungiri, Kisoro, Kyenjojo, Zombo, Rubanda, Rukiga, Kabale, Kanungu, Sheema, Kikuube, Rwampaka, Ntungamo and Kabarole.
Addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Centre on Thursday 29th September 2022, the state minister for Agriculture Hon. Fred Kyakulaga Bwino said Government took a decision to stop the distribution of coffee, tea, and other seedlings through NAADS and UCDA to allow farmers to directly access funds through the Parish SACCOs under the Parish Development Model (PDM) and buy their own seedlings.
The Minister, however, mentioned that Government has received a number of complaints from farmers mainly coffee and tea farmers who had prepared their gardens but did not have access to the seedlings. More complaints came from nursery bed operators who are stuck with seedlings and have no people to buy them. Hon. Kyakulaga said as Government addresses the challenges faced by farmers in accessing the PDM money, a decision has been taken by Cabinet to supply coffee seedlings in 126 districts and tea seedlings in 16 seedlings.
“This move is aimed at supporting farmers who had prepared their gardens so that they do not miss out on this current planting season, and the nursery operators whose seedlings will be outgrown if they are not planted this season”, explained Kyakulaga
NAADS is taking the lead in distribution of the tea seedlings working in partnership with the District Production Officers and the Operation Wealth Creation to verify the nurseries. On the other hand, UCDA has been tasked to procure and distribute coffee seedlings to selected farmer beneficiaries following the existing standard operating procedures.
Beneficiary farmers of the seedlings will be identified by the Parish Development Committees and Parish SACCOs working hand in hand with the sub county extension workers.
The Executive Director NAADS Dr. Samuel Mugasi said in some districts like Buhweju, Mitooma and Bushenyi verification of nurseries and selection of farmer beneficiaries has already been done.
Minister Bwino Kyakulaga said both the tea and coffee seedlings will be procured from the nursery bed operators on credit and payments will be made in the coming financial years 2023/24 and 2024/25.
“We have agreed with the nursery operators tha instead of letting the seedlings go to waste, Government buys them on credit and pay them later because there is no money for coffee and tea seedlings in the current financial budget”, explained Bwino
The Minister tasked Dr. Samuel Mugasi and Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye the ED UCDA to speed up the process of procuring the seedlings and distribute them to farmers before the rains stop, saying distribution should be done by 20th October.
The minister urged the farmers to use simple technologies to water the seedlings after planting to ensure higher survival rates.
The intervention for both coffee and tea is estimated to cost Ugx 93 billion.