Dokolo, 17th July, 2020. Hon. Henry Bagiire the Minister of State for Agriculture has officially opened the first out of 5 Regional Agricultural Mechanization Centers.
The Mechanization Center for the Northern region will host excavators, self-loading tracks, heavy earth-moving equipment, bulldozers and Mobile Mechanization Workshop Trucks for use by farmers in the region.
The center will also host trained operators and Senior Agricultural Engineers whose role is to provide advisory, servicing and maintenance as well as coordination with the farmer groups.
Hon. Bagiire who was accompanied by Mr. Pius Wakabi Kasajja the MAAIF Permanent Secretary highlighted the current drive to boost Agricultural Mechanization as a major step by Government as committed in the National Development Plan.
The Countrywide Plan for Agricultural Mechanization
The Government is constructing 4 regional mechanization centers in Buwama – Mpigi district (Central Region), Agwata – Dokolo district (Northern Region), Kiryandongo district and Mbale district. The regional mechanization centers will decentralize the irrigation and water for agriculture production services. The centers will be managed by a Senior Engineer who will work with a Mechanical Engineer, an Irrigation Engineer and a Civil Engineer.
The centers will be equipped with tractors and maintenance tools/ mobile workshops. The centers will also be responsible for maintaining Government tractors and repair/ maintenance of privately owned tractors in the district at cost recovery basis. The establishment of the centers was phased and by December 2019, Buwama was at 60% completion while Agwata was at 50% completion.
The first out of the 5 is the one in Agwata that has been officially opened to the public.
Access to the equipment and machines will follow the guidelines on the Ministry website: https://www.agriculture.go.ug/1832-2/
List of districts that have so far recruited Senior Agricultural Engineers: https://www.agriculture.go.ug/senior-agricultural-engineers-for-districts/
Key pointers from the official opening
“The opening of this Mechanization Centre for the Northern Region is one of the steps taken by Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to bring Mechanization services even closer to the farmers,” – Hon. Henry Aggrey Bagiire, Minister of State for Agriculture.
“Farmers who have been accessing Mechanization Services prior to this launch have reported increased efficiency and opened up more land for production. These centers will make that possible for more farmers,” – Mr. Pius Wakabi Kasajja, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries.
Hon. Musa Francis Ecweru, the State Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness recognized the new steps taken to roll out the Agricultural Mechanization Programme to the 5 planned regional centers as one that will increase food security in Uganda.
Categories of Machines and Equipment at the Center
Above: One of the Mobile Mechanization Workshop Vans equipment with generators, oil, hydraulics as well as mechanization tools used in repair and maintenance.
Below is the description of the centers and Government objectives by Hon. Henry Aggrey Bagiire the Minister of State for Agriculture.
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.
- 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).