Ministry Of Agriculture Pushes For Adoption Of Quality Seed

Golden Harvest Nine (2)

Golden Harvest Nine

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) working in collaboration with Uganda Seed Traders Association (USTA) and Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) is launching a nationwide campaign to create awareness and influence adoption of quality seed by both subsistence and commercial farmers in Uganda. The campaign dubbed “Golden Harvest” has been designed with a promise to farmers to “Celebrate greater yields” only if they plant quality seed. The Campaign was officially unveiled by President Yoweri Museveni during the opening of the Annual Agricultural Trade Fairin Jinja.

Speaking at the press conference in Jinja yesterday, the Director for Crop Resources in the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries; Mr. Okaasai Opolot said that the quality seed that has been certified by the Ministry is clearly labeled.

“Quality seed comes in two categories. The certified seed that is produced and marketed by seed companies bears a blue tamper proof label. We also have Quality Declared seed marked with a green label. This is quality seed produced by farmers groups for saleto farmers within their communities. The production process of both categories of seed is closely inspected and certified byMAAIF.” Opolotcommented.

The campaign will involve information dissemination through radio messages and community engagements at the grass root level. The target audiences of the campaign are the rural subsistence and semi-commercial farmers in Uganda.

In his brief remarks, the Deputy Chief of Party of Integrated Seed Sector Development Project, Patrick Oyee noted that they are supporting the popularization of quality seed in order to increase agricultural productivity so as to improvefood security at the household level.

Mr. Oyee emphasized that the ISSD program recognizes the importance of all system systems in Uganda and will continue to give support to promote both the availability and use of quality seed in Uganda.

“Ours is a long term strategy aimed at availing quality seed for every farmer by supporting all the seed systems in Uganda. We have vibrant partnerships with NARO in in their ZARDIs in Lira, Mbarara and Arua in West Nile in order to translate the scientific work done there into meaningful benefits for the actual farmers” He said.

While officiating at the press conference at the Jinja show grounds, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries; Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempija revealed that many stakeholders in the agricultural sector in Uganda mention the limited availability of, and access to quality seed as one of the main obstacles for increasing production and productivity levels. As such the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is supporting GoU in the development of a vibrant seed sector, through the Integrated Seed Sector Development Programme (ISSD). The programme is coordinated by Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), Centre for Development Innovation (CDI), and implemented by Wageningen UR Uganda, in partnership with NARO.

“There is growing interest and steps taken to invest in promotion of quality seed use which will contribute to reduction of counterfeit seed and increases yields of smallholder farmers, thus providing a multiplier effect to the investment in foundation seed and professionalising the seed sector”. He said.
The “Golden Harvest” campaign will benefit both producers and distributors of quality seed in the country.

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