SAA-Uganda organized the Annual Stakeholder Meeting 2023


SAA Uganda conducted its annual stakeholder planning workshop on 24th January 2023 at Fairway Hotel in Kampala under the theme ‘’Catalyzing Agricultural Intensification Nutrition and Income’’. The participants included representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Universities (Makerere University, Busitema University, Gulu University and Uganda Christian University Mukono), Farmer Cooperatives (Kyendangala Area Cooperative Enterprise (KACE), One Stop Centre Associations (Bugiri Agribusiness Institutions Development Association (BAIDA), Zirobwe Agali awamu Agribusiness Training Association (ZAABTA)), agro-input dealers (Bukoola Chemicals agro-input dealers,  Vermipro Limited and GrainPulse Limited), Local Government staff, e-extension service providers (MobiPay AgroSys Limited, Ezy Agric), financial institutions (Happy Loans) and Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM), JABBA Soil Testing Laboratories and SAFE Alumni. The main objectives of the workshop were to create awareness among stakeholders on SAA's strategic plan, share plans for the year and to discuss areas of collaboration to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers through the intensification of nutrition and income.

In his welcome remarks, the Country Director acknowledged the partners' contribution to supporting SAA to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Uganda. He further highlighted that SAA's new strategy focuses on Regenerative Agriculture(RA), Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture (NSA), and Market Oriented Agriculture (MOA) which address critical issues in the agricultural sector, including improving soil health that will sustain the ecology and ensure sustainable intensification for food and income security and consumption of nutritious foods.

The President of SAA, Dr. Makoto Kitanaka,  informed the audience that despite the effect of COVID-19 and the Ebola virus, SAA continued to deliver innovations and knowledge to smallholder farmers. He said the year 2023 is essential for the new strategy because it is the third year of the strategic plan to strengthen partnerships for a more significant impact on smallholder farmers. He concluded by commending the partners for attending the planning workshop.

The Acting Director of Crop Resources of MAAIF, whom the Permanent Secretary had delegated delivered a message; the Permanent Secretary applauded SAA for supporting MAAIF through the existing extension structure to support smallholder farmers in Uganda over the years. He appreciated SAA for focusing on intensive agriculture in its strategy, which aligns with the Parish Development Model (PDM), a Government program to empower smallholder farmers to utilize their resources for maximum production. He urged SAA to engage a broader range of crucial Government Ministries and Agencies to implement the NDP III effectively. These include; the Ministry of Water and Environment to link farmers to irrigation interventions, the Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC) for market access, the Ministry of Local Government for effective implementation of the PDM, Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) for quality control for the value-adding enterprises.

He also highlighted critical areas for partnerships aimed at improving farmers' production and livelihood to include empowering farmers to multiply seeds and building farmers' capacity to identify lucrative enterprises and quality seeds. He added that identifying and disseminating timely information and knowledge on pest and disease management coupled with building farmers' capacity on recommended post-harvest management technologies for clean, high-quality grain released on the market. He concluded his remarks by calling upon the stakeholders in the agriculture sector to work together.

During the event, SAA shared presentations on its achievements and plans for the year for partners to identify areas of synergy for possible collaboration. The participants then broke out into groups to discuss areas of partnership. At the end of the discussion, the workshop tasked SAA to mobilize and register farmer groups into cooperatives. SAA pledged to meet universities to identify areas of collaboration for the youth skilling programs and establish a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to this effect. SAA also assured the meeting that it would generate evidence-based lessons for learning and disseminate information to increase the impact of interventions. JABBA Soil Testing Laboratories pledged to share soil analysis results with SAA for informed decisions on fertilizer requirements.

In his closing remark, the Country Director commended the participants for active participation and engagement in the workshop. He assured the stakeholders SAA would follow up on the areas of opportunity and formalize partnerships when required. The Country Director pledged that SAA will regularly interface with partners to follow up on milestones and ensure that lessons learned increase the impact of SAA interventions.

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