The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Animal Husbandry has appointed a committee of 11 eminent persons with reasonable expertise in the crop and animal husbandry to assess the persistence of low agricultural outputs in areas where agro-chemicals have been applied.
The committee is also expected to study and profile the quality of agrochemicals on the market, which is said to be affecting both crop and animal farmers in the country and later make recommendations on how to address the concerns.
The committee will be led by Prof John David Kabaasa who will be deputized by Dr. Eve Kasirye Alemu.
Speaking to the media, the minister of Agriculture, Frank Tumwebaze said the move follows concerns from the farmers that the application of these chemicals has affected their yields and output.
“The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has a mission to transform the sector from subsistence agriculture to commercial agriculture and specifically under the National Development Plan (NDP) III, ”he said.
In line with the government’s programme to move more people into the money economy through increased agricultural production and productivity, Tumwebaze said that the discussion on the efficacy of agrochemicals has taken centre stage in the public domain over the past few months.
Tumwebaze said this brought many questions which the Ministry needed to know and respond appropriately in a precise and concise manner.
“Based on this background and in response to the frequent outcry of farmers and other farming stake-holders regarding the quality and efficacy. I have decided, after serious consideration and consultation, to appoint a committee of eminent persons with reasonable expertise in the crop and animal husbandries to assess the persistence of this problem,”he said.
He said that this committee will help the ministry to understand the actual problem, its magnitude and thus make relevant therapeutic policy recommendations. These will be discussed by cabinet and thereafter the most effective ones will be adopted.