Minister of State for Agriculture Joy Kabatsi has Monday urged farmers all over the country to take on rice and potato growing on a largeer scale because of the benefits they present.
Hon Kabatsi said Monday that rice and potato growing are very profitable businesses and that farmers can get profit of up to 2 times the initial cost of production.
“I encourage our farmers in the Western and Eastern Uganda to take on planting rice and potatoes because they can yield maximum profit; all you have to do is have good quality seeds , use fertilizers and practice good farming methods” Kabatsi said.
The Minister today at the Uganda Media Center also launched the crop intensifying advocacy messages majorly about good farming practices, use of agro-inputs in a stepwise manner, given that they may not have funds to acquire all the recommended inputs at once; and post-harvest handling of crops and marketing of produce.
“Sharing of these messages will start right now in the rice growing districts of Butaleja, Bugiri and Tororo in Eastern Uganda; and in Irish Potato growing districts of Kabale, Kisoro, Kanungu and Rubanda in South-Western Uganda,” the minister.
Agriculture is one of the major sectors of Ugandan economy; employing 65.6% (UBOS 2010) of the labour force and contributing 21% to the GDP. In addition, Agricultural sector exports have increased over the years. By 2014, agriculture contributed $1.26b to national export revenue.
Productivity of most crops however, has been reducing over the last decade mainly due to poor production techniques, limited extension services, over dependency on rain-fed agriculture, high costs of inputs, poor quality seeds and fake inputs on the market, limited markets, land tenure challenges and limited application of technology and innovation”
Hon Kabatsi said that they will continue to sensitize and educate farmers all over the country not to give up on farming and also tell them the best seeds to use, were to get them and use fertilizers.