Embracing mechanisation in the agricultural sector has been top on the government agenda for years. The aim is to increase productivity.
However experts have questioned whether government is in position to find markets to match the increase in production.
According to Agnes Kirabo, the executive director of Food Alliance Uganda, government needs to first secure a reliable market before jumping on mechanization, arguing that even without mechanization farmers are struggling to find market for the little they produce.
“Farmers together with government are stranded with the produce in this year’s bumper harvest, due to lack of market. How will it be if machines are employed?” queried Kirabo.
This financial year 2018/2019, the ministry of Agriculture received Shs 893 billion from the government much of which is to enforce the government plan of mechanising the sector to increase yields.
“68% of farmers in Uganda have remained in substance farming for long simply because they require much labor to increase on their production and employing mechanising is a strategy to uplift them,” said says Beatrice Byarugaba the director extension at the ministry of Agriculture.
This financial year the ministry is set to procure over 100 tractors to go to Eastern and Northern region adding on the few existing.
Byarugaba said the tractors are going to only benefit people who are members of cooperatives.