New Youth-led Call Centre Initiative launched by Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries

Kampala 16th August 2019 As a way of enhancing creation of more jobs for the youth in the agricultural sector, the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries is implementing more recommendations of the National Strategy for Youth Employment in Agriculture.

The recommendations call for stepping up support for innovative youth groups and youth ICT experts in the agricultural sector to create value chain jobs for youth beyond the on-farm activities.

Today, Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja has launched an ICT-enabled by the name “Kilimo Call Centre” that will allow farmers to make use of a toll-free line to acquire standardised guidelines and answers to inquiries.

Above: Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja (Centre) with the leadership of the “Kilimo Call Centre” in Kampala earlier today.

The Call Centre was designed by Cabral Tech which is a private sector company made up of Software Engineers and will focus on disseminating standardized information on Crop Management, Crop Disease Control, Livestock Management, Access to Agricultural Credit, Weather Forecast, Markets and Agricultural Inputs.

Complementing ongoing work to step up Agricultural Extension Services

The Call Centre and other similar initiatives are complementary to the recruitment drive under the Single Spine Extension System where Government embarked on the recruitment of Public Agricultural Extension Staff in Local Governments.

This recruitment drive has reached 3,032 extension staff which is 60% of the target (5000 recruited extension workers). The extension worker to Farmer ratio has reduced from 1:5000 5 years ago to about 1:1800.

This progress was reached through the Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services that was represented at this launch by Dr. Patience Rwamigisa.

Above: Hon. Vincent Ssempijja addressing the media about efforts to further improve agricultural extension services, implementation of the National Strategy for Youth Employment in Agriculture and integration of ICT, all of which are in line with the targets of the National Development Plan and the commitments of the African Union Comprehensive Africa Development Programme (CAADP) to which Uganda is signatory through the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries.

Implementing sector-wide strategies

The support for the youth through the Ministry is guided by the National Strategy for Youth Employment in Agriculture which will be followed by a National Strategy for ICT in Agriculture that is being developed through support from the Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP).

The ICT-related component of the project focuses on promoting the use of digital technologies such as information systems to transfer and disseminate production, climate, market and advisory information in the country.

Through the project, the Ministry will complete design of the Agricultural Information Platform (AIP), ICT Business Impact Support as well as Design and Development of the Agriculture Geo Portal.

The validation of the e-extension platform; http://aais-ug.site, the e-diary; http://aais-ug.site/e-diary,  was concluded on the 6th of May 2019 and piloting of the application is underway before its deployment.

A performance monitoring and evaluation system; http://maaif.me, was also validated on the 30th of April 2019.

These platforms and more ICT-enabled solutions are products of engagements convened by the Agriculture Cluster Development Project to build from ideas from the Ministry, other Ministries Agencies and Departments of Government, private sector companies (Majority of which are youth-led) and Academic Institutions including Makerere University.

Above: Project staff of the Agriculture Cluster Development Project led by Mr. Stephen Ojangole the Deputy Project Coordinator (First from left) during the stakeholder engagements aimed at contributing to the National Strategy for Integration of ICT in Agriculture.

Above: Some of the Local Government representatives at the stakeholder engagements aimed at contributing to the National Strategy for Integration of ICT in Agriculture.
Above: Some of the representatives of other Ministries Agencies and Departments of Government and Academic Institutions at the stakeholder engagements aimed at contributing to the National Strategy for Integration of ICT in Agriculture.

Improving access to critical farm inputs through the e-voucher system

One of the initiatives under the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries is the e-voucher system of the Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP), used to link farmers to pre-qualified and certified agro-input dealers who sell inputs to the farmers at costs that are subsidized by Government.

Above: The official launch of the e-voucher system by Hon. Vincent Ssempijja the Minister for Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries accompanied by Ms Beatrice Byarugaba the Acting Director for Crop Resources in 2018. To date, close to 90,000 farmers have registered and been enrolled to benefit from the subsidy programme through the e-voucher system.
Through the subsidy programme of the Agriculture Cluster Development which is supported by the World Bank, farmers acquire inputs in a manner that allows them to utilise them effectively with commitment.
In the first season, the farmer contributes 33% of the cost of inputs and the 67% is provided by government. In the second season, the farmer contributes 50% which attracts a 50% contribution by government. In the third season, the farmer makes a 67% contribution while government contributes 33%.
By the fourth season, with training in best practices of agriculture and agribusiness enterprise management as well as enhanced access to markets, the farmer is expected to be in position to run a self-sustaining enterprise

Coverage of the Agriculture Cluster Development Project to date

Notes for editors

About the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF)

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries is a Ministry in the Government of Uganda charged with creating an enabling environment in the Agricultural Sector.

The Ministry formulates, reviews and implement national policies, plans, strategies, regulations and standards and enforce laws, regulations and standards along the value chain of crops, livestock and fisheries.

Vision: A competitive, profitable and sustainable agricultural sector.

Mission: To transform subsistence farming to commercial agriculture.

Strategic Objectives

  • To initiate the formulation and review of the policy and legal framework for the sector
  • To establish and implement systems for service provision in the sector
  • To strengthen and implement strategies, regulatory framework, standards, institutional structures and infrastructure for quality assurance and increased quantities of agricultural products to access and sustain local, regional and export markets
  • To design and implement sustainable capacity building programmes for stakeholders in the agricultural sector through training, re-tooling, infrastructure, provision of logistics and ICT
  • To develop strategies for sustainable food security
  • To develop appropriate agricultural technologies for improved agricultural production, productivity and value addition through research
  • To develop effective collaborative mechanisms with affiliated institutions and
  • To take lead and establish a system and institutional framework for agricultural data collection, analyses, storage and dissemination to stakeholders including Uganda Bureau of Statistics.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) is made up of four Directorates including the Directorate of Crop Resources, Directorate of Animal Resources, Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services and the Directorate of Fisheries Resources each with Departments, Divisions and Partnership Projects.

The Departments of the Ministry which do not fall directly in the above include the Department of Agricultural Planning and Development, the Human Resource Department, the Department of Finance and Administration and the Department of Agricultural Infrastructure, Mechanisation and Water for Agricultural Production.

The Ministry is also made up of seven Agencies including the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), Cotton Development Organisation (CDO), Dairy Development Authority (DDA), Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) and Coordinating Office for the Control of Trypanosomiasis in Uganda (COCTU) and the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Databank (NAGRC&DB).

About the Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP)

Follow the link below to read more about the project and the project components: