Building continental synergies for communications in the fight against the Fall Army Worm

A team from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries participated in a continental Fall Army Worm Control Workshop in Lusaka, Zambia from the 28th to the 29th of August 2018.

The workshop which was aimed at strengthening communication in the fight against the Fall Army Worm in Africa efforts to control the Fall Army Worm was convened by the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) and included representatives from Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia and Ethiopia.

Above: Representatives of International Organisations and Government Ministries at the workshop in Lusaka, Zambia.

The main approach that was discussed during the workshop was the use of strategic communications to increase awareness and preparedness especially for farmers in the fight against the Fall Army Worm.

The Ministry was represented by Mr. Benius Tukahirwa from the Department of Crop Protection in the Directorate of Crop Resources and Solomon Kalema a Senior Communications Officer in the Ministry who joined other participants in sharing experiences and innovations developed in the fight against the pest.

Above: Mr. Benius Tukahirwa from the Department of Crop Protection in the Directorate of Crop Resources presenting progress made in the fight against the Fall Army Worm in Uganda at the Workshop in Lusaka.

The workshop was concluded with the kick-off of a process that will deliver a new approach to communications and extension services that can better deal with the Fall Army Worm and similar pests.

History of the Fall Army Worm Outbreak in Uganda and the country’s response

Damage by the Fall Army Worm in Uganda was first observed in June 2016 and was first observed on maize and later on other cereal crops and grasses. Through the Department of Crop Protection, the Ministry responded by procuring emergency insecticides.

A national strategy for the control of the pest was also introduced with the target of reducing the prevalence of the pest from the current national average of 80% to below 5% by end of 2020. More is being done through training farmers in different parts of the country.

The fight against the Fall Army Worm, has been largely supported by Government, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), CABI, local media and the extension system since the outbreak in the first season of 2017.

More recently the FAO, contributed a consignment of pheromone traps and more equipment for monitoring and controlling the Fall Army Worm.

Notes to editors

Below are additional details for editors.

About the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF)

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries is a Ministry in the Government of Uganda charged with creating an enabling environment in the Agricultural Sector.

The Ministry formulates, reviews and implement national policies, plans, strategies, regulations and standards and enforce laws, regulations and standards along the value chain of crops, livestock and fisheries.

Vision: A competitive, profitable and sustainable agricultural sector.

Mission: To transform subsistence farming to commercial agriculture.

See strategic objectives here.

See Agriculture Sector Strategic Plan here.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) is made up of four Directorates including the Directorate of Crop Resources, Directorate of Animal Resources, Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services and the Directorate of Finance and Administration each with Departments, Divisions and Partnership Projects.

The Ministry is also made up of seven Agencies including the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), Cotton Development Organisation (CDO), Dairy Development Authority (DDA), Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) and Coordinating Office for the Control of Trypanosomiasis in Uganda (COCTU) and the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Databank (NAGRC&DB).

About JASAR

Every Year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries organises the Joint Agricultural Sector Annual Review (JASAR) with partners.

The primary objective of the JASAR is to review the performance of the agricultural sector for the previous financial year and to propose a way forward of moving the agriculture sector.

Like the reviews held before, the JASAR will follow best practices of sector reviews which require balanced representation of the private sector, civil society, farmers’ organizations, Development Partners, Local Governments alongside Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

Specific Objectives of JASAR

This JASAR, which is being organized in partnership with USAID will also target the following specific objectives.

  1. To create a platform for stakeholders in the agriculture sector including; political leaders, sector institutions, decentralized structures, private sector, civil society and development partners to discuss and review the performance of the agriculture sector, as well as its associated policies and programs
  2. To assess the trends in overall sector performance based on relevant Sustainable Development Goals, CAADP, the National Development Plan (NDPII) and the Agricultural Sector Strategic Plan (ASSP) indicators
  3. To assess the progress of implementation of sector priorities for Financial Year 2017/18 as set out in the Ministerial Policy Statement and sector Budget Framework Paper
  4. To assess sector public financing for Financial Year 2017/18
  5. To assess progress made towards the agreed actions from the 2017 JASAR
  6. To appraise the stakeholders on the sector priorities for Financial Year 2018/19
  7. To provide recommendations for increased effectiveness and efficiency in sector performance.

The activities before the national events involve tours of regions of the country to visit areas where initiatives have been implemented and assess the need for future interventions.

The national events of the 2018 Joint Agricultural Sector Annual Review (JASAR) organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) took place from the 28th to the 29th of August 2018.