Last year, the Government of Uganda embarked on a national seed production initiative aimed at providing quality seed to farmers. The strategic food and seed production intervention was a resolution of the cabinet following a prolonged drought that sparked hunger in some areas of Uganda. President Yoweri Museveni directed that selected government and private entities be supported to produce food for consumption as well as seed for seasonal use by the farmers.
Maize, soybeans, beans, and sorghum are the crops being promoted, with a total of 224,650 acres planned for production. The land committed to this is as follows: National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) 10,000 acres, Uganda Prisons 50,000 acres, UPDF 10,000 acres, NEC 5,280 acres, Veterans 4,707 acres, National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank (NAGRC & DB) 30,000 acres, and large-scale farmers 314,000 acres, respectively.
NARO distributed the 10,000 acres among her institutes based on land availability, suitability, and location. The NARO Institutes that were identified to grow seeds are the National Crops Resources Research Institute (Kiige), National Semi-Arid Resources Research Institute (Serere), NARO Holdings, and the Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institutes (ZARDI’s) of Ngetta, Abi, Mukono, Rwebitaba, Mbarara, Nabuin, Bulindi, and Bunginaynaya.
Four teams constituted by the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit embarked on a week-long exercise (the week of January 9) to assess the progress of the seed production that started in the second season of 2022. The harvest of most of the crops is ongoing and nearing completion. The main objective of these monitoring visits is to inform management decisions and feed into the national monitoring system.
After the monitoring exercise, a meeting was convened to share reports and experiences at NARO’s Fisheries Resources Institute in Kajjansi.