The Uganda Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (UFAAS), in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) and the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) plans its first National Agricultural Extension week with the theme, “Unveiling innovative pluralistic AEAS approaches: Actors’ resilience and competitiveness for food security and commercialized agriculture”. The Event will be supported with funding from USAID Feed the Future’s Institutional Strengthening and Systems Activity, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Uganda, and other partners. The event is scheduled to take place on 23-26 May 2023 and is expected to attract over 1,000 AEAS actors for regional and national events.
According to Mr Stephen Byantwale, the Commissioner for Crop Protection, who represented the Ugandan Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, the national agricultural extension week is an opportunity for agricultural extension stakeholders to deliberate on the current status of Agricultural Extension and Advisory services in the country and find effective means to address these challenges.
He reiterated and urged the stakeholders to guide farmers and come up with innovative solutions like the digitalization of extension services so that people have viable business modules to address the current challenges in the sector. Mr Byantwale also informed the participants that the Government of Uganda through the Cabinet guided on six priorities in agriculture, and mentioned that these require a strong and coordinated extension system as well as a conducive enabling environment to spur agricultural development. The six priorities mentioned are: Research, Agric Mechanization, Farmer Education, Pest and disease control, Livestock, and Fisheries.
Mr. Olupot Max, the Director of Programmes at AFAAS, in his welcome remarks, noted that Agricultural Extension Globally has gone through a lot of transformation and that the theme “Unveiling Innovative Pluralistic Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services anchors extensionists into the need to do things differently if they wanted to achieve different results.
Indeed, the Ugandan example is a welcome development for other African states, including Nigeria, to emulate. We sincerely hope that this will be followed soon by FMARD and NIFAAS, in collaboration with several other stakeholders, organizing an extension week for Nigeria.