Agricultural Researchers Decry Poor Funding, Staffing & Technology Gap for Low Farming Productivity

Kabale | RedPepper Digital – Agriculture researchers in the Kigezi sub-region have decried limited funding, staffing and low agricultural technological uptake by farmers thus hampering the effective productivity rate among farmers.

Dr Alex Barekye, the Director of Kakwekano Zonal Research and Development Institute in Rubanda district, says that the institute receives less than Ugx 500 million every financial year for its operations and it has only 35 staff saying that government needs to think of enhancing the budget for the operations at Kakwekano Zonal Research and Development Institute.

He says that despite the available technology of seeds improvement and animal keeping at the institute, farmers in the region are yet to embrace the agricultural services at the institute to foster agricultural improvement.

Dr. Barigye attributed limited resources to low uptake of technologies generated by NARO, saying that there is a need for enough resources to expand the rate of production to at least 40 or 50 percent by investing in infrastructure development and increase of capacity delivery to Farmers Saying that currently, the rate of production in Kigezi sub-region is at 2% hence demands are too high which has left farmers unsatisfied with demands of seeds every season.

“In NARO we do research and generate technologies to help farmers increase their productivity, fight famine and poverty and enhance nutrition. However, this research needs resources. We implore the government to improve funding for NARO to do better research” Dr Alex Barekye said.

He called for enhancement of funding to the national agricultural research organisation (NARO) if it is to increase productivity rate and technology among farmers.

Currently National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) receives Ugx 100Bn from the government every year to aid in the smooth running of its activities which he said is low compared to activities done during research.

Dr Samuel Mugasi The executive director of National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS) and a member of the National Agriculture research organization council said that NARO receives 100 billion shillings annually for its operations in the entirely country which he said that it is insufficient to fully carryout all activities of research. He said that NARO through the ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has engaged government to ensure that funding for agricultural research is enhanced.

Dr. Samuel Mugasi The executive director of National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS) said that research in agriculture boosts and provides solutions on how people should utilize resources to promote food production and household income.

“Because we know the importance of research is to solve problems in the modern world. Research, as we know, is to solve to provide solutions to human problems”

“Funding for NARO and research is the problem because we largely depend on donor funding but now we’re urging the government to increase funding for NARO and the government has promised to increase salaries of scientists, but also to increase the budget for research. We have no doubt that NARO will have additional funding.”

However, Dr Mugasi revealed that NARO has started NARO holdings, an entity that shall do business so that the income generated is used to do research.

He asked all extension workers in the Kigezi sub-region to extend technologies being developed at Kachwekano zonal research institute to local farmers to enhance farming practices

Rt Rev George Bagamuhunda the Bishop of the diocese of Kigezi said that there is a need for government to invest much in science and research in the field of government as a way of improving household income and food security among residents.

Speaking about the funding, the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), Mugasi said that they are engaging the government to increase funds being given to NARO in order to strengthen more research and science at the Kachwekano zonal research institute.

They said this during the satellite even and exhibition of agricultural innovations and improved seeds and animal husbandry as part of their preparation to celebrate the world food day on Saturday 16th, 2021 held at Kachwekano zonal research institute in Kagarama parish, Bubare Sub County, Rubanda district.

Nelson Nshangabasheija Speaking as the guest of honor, the Kabale district Chairperson urged all political experts in Kigezi sub region to go back in areas they represent not only verbally but in action and engage their electorates, sensitize them about improved seeds to grow and livestock to rear in order to chase away poverty and improve their household income.

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