Stepping up interventions for agricultural mechanisation in Uganda

Stepping up interventions for agricultural mechanisation in Uganda

In a high level consensus building event held in Kampala on the 11th of July 2018, the ,Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries kick-started a process to add to the new draft policy for Agricultural Mechanisation in Uganda.

The high level meeting which was officially opened by Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Sempijja the Agriculture Minister involved the active participation of the Permanent Secretary Mr. Pius Wakabi Kasajja, Hon. Joy Kabatsi the State Minister for Animal Industry, Ms. Beatrice Byarugaba the Director for Agricultural Extension Services, Finance sector officials and Bankers including DFCU Bank, farmer organisation leaders and more to discuss best ways to deliver agricultural mechanisation in a sustainable and highly profitable manner.

Agricultural Mechanisation remains a key component in agricultural transformation in Sub Saharan Africa as recommended by among other umbrella organisations, the FAO.

In one major publication by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, entitled “Agricultural mechanization A key input for sub-Saharan African smallholders” by a team led by Brian Sims who is an FAO Farm Mechanization Consultant mechanisation in the sector is highlighted to have

  1. Potential to expand the area under cultivation.
  2. Ability to perform operations at the right time to maximize production potential.

iii. Multifunctionality – tractors can be used, not only for crop production, but also for transportation, stationary power applications and infrastructure improvement (drainage and irrigation canals and road works).

  1. Compensation for seasonal labour shortages (or, indeed, release of labour for more productive work.
  2. Reduction of the drudgery associated with the use of human muscle power for tasks, such as hand hoeing for primary tillage – especially important in tropical areas where high temperatures and humidity (sometimes associated with inadequate nutrition) make manual work extremely arduous.
  3. Potential to expand the area under cultivation.
  4. Ability to perform operations at the right time to maximize production potential.

iii. Multifunctionality – tractors can be used, not only for crop production, but also for transportation, stationary power applications and infrastructure improvement (drainage and irrigation canals and road works).

  1. Compensation for seasonal labour shortages (or, indeed, release of labour for more productive work.
  2. Reduction of the drudgery associated with the use of human muscle power for tasks, such as hand hoeing for primary tillage – especially important in tropical areas where high temperatures and humidity (sometimes associated with inadequate nutrition) make manual work extremely arduous.

Above: Hon. Joy  Kabatsi, State Minister for Animal Industry presented the need for increased mechanization for the sub-sector especially for pasture improvement.

Above: Mrs Beatrice Byarugaba, Director for Agricultural Extension Services presented the need for increased human capacity development.

The process  for updating the mechanisation policy is led by the Department of Agricultural Infrastructure, Mechanisation and Water for Agricultural Production.