China invests in Ugandan agriculture

March 28, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

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By

Gloria Nakiyimba

China is investing 1.8 million US Dollars to boost Uganda’s Agricultural sector. The money will be funding the second Phase of the South-South Cooperation (SSC-2) project launched in the country this week.

Chinese Ambassador to Uganda H.E Zhao Yali said that the SSC-2 project will be implemented in 40 districts country wide.

The Project will focus on aquaculture, livestock, horticulture, the cereal agricultural subsectors and capacity development.

Sixteen Chinese experts are already in Uganda to provide the technical advice to ensure that the project runs smoothly with the aim of ensuring food security in Uganda.

Under the project value chain development will be encouraged in districts where there are enough and permanent sources of water and urban markets.

An aquaculture technology demonstration and training centre will be established at Kajjansi, along the Entebbe Kampala Highway, that will be networked and utilized by farmers during the project.

The district of Amuria has been lined up for aquaculture where farmers will get information on the best practices in fish farming. They will also receive free fish fingerlings to start fish farming.

Farmers living in districts with cool climates in the Kigezi sub region in South Western Uganda will be trained in improving technologies of apple and pear nursery or orchard establishment and management.

Senior Agricultural Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, in charge of Horticulture, Dr. James Tumwine noted that citrus and mango farmers in other parts of the country will also receive similar training.

Through the South to South Cooperation phase 2 project, production and marketing of major vegetables, especially mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumbers, hot and sweet peppers, will be carried out in selected districts.

According to Dr. Tumwine, production, processing and marketing of cereals will be promoted. This will target rice, maize and foxtail millet varieties that were introduced from China in the SSC Phase 1.

This will be carried out in ten key cereal producing districts in eastern Uganda. These include Butaleja and Budaka among others. Other cereal producing districts in northern and western Uganda will benefit, as well as the new districts in greater Masaka where they produce rice.

According to Dr. Mwiine, senior Agricultural Officer, the project will also focus on selected livestock especially animal nutrition to ensure adequate feeds during dry periods. He revealed that local feed processing technologies such as ammonification and feed formulation will be promoted.

“The project will introduce genetic materials such as frozen semen or embryo of goat, sheep, and pigs to improve the local breeds, introducing the Chinese goats for high meat production in a short period” said Dr.  Tumwiine.

The SSC-2 project was launched this week in Uganda’s lake side town of Entebbe.

Liu Zhongwei, China’s SSC Program Coordinator at the Food and Agriculture Organization-FAO headquarters in Rome, said since 1996, China has deployed more than 1000 experts to Africa, Asia, South Pacific and the Caribbean.

Liu Zhongwei noted that the second phase is part of the continuing efforts to improve food security in Uganda through introduction of high yielding crop varieties, advanced planting and breeding technology.

He noted that this will boost the quality of agricultural produce, pointing out that SSC 2 will introduce sustainable business models that will promote investment in agriculture.

Uganda’s Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Tress Buchanayandi pledged government readiness to work with China and FAO to better implement the project.

“We are ready to work together and encourage more and more Chinese investors to come to Uganda” he said.

The project is targeting to a total of 4000 farmers countrywide.

China is one of Uganda’s main development partners and has invested large sums of money in the agriculture, trade and the road sector.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gloria Nakiyimba

Gloria has experience spanning more than five years in Journalism, particularly in field reporting, editing, newscasting and management. She is currently working with Capital Radio Limited [91.3 Capital FM and 96.3 Beat FM] as Head of News, a position she has held since 2010.

Gloria previously worked as the Kampala Correspondent for Radio France International [RFI] generating local story leads with international inference for RFI’s global audience. She also served as Political Editor for The Weekly Mail Newspaper as well as Online Content Editor for the California based Ugandan broadcaster KubutakaRadio.com.

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