Enhancing Farming Efficiency: Uganda’s New Agricultural Information System
In an effort to empower farmers with knowledge regarding weather patterns, soils, markets, and modern agricultural techniques, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) is planning to establish a National Agricultural Information System. This announcement was made by MAAIF Permanent Secretary, Maj Gen David Kasura Kyomukama, during the joint inauguration of the 13th Fisheries Training Institute (FTI) and Bukalasa Agricultural College (BAC) Governing Council at the Fisheries Training Institute in Entebbe.
Maj Gen Kyomukama emphasized the importance of modernizing agricultural education by introducing smart tools such as tablets and various technological devices. He stressed that agricultural extension workers need to have hands-on experience in the field, as agriculture is not conducted in white-collar environments. Additionally, he highlighted the need to bridge the gap in the government’s extension system by producing fisheries officers and extension workers to promote commercialization of agriculture in Uganda.
He also urged the governing council to prioritize accountability and transparency, as these elements are essential for maintaining the link between activities and expenditures.
Mr. Gelvan Kisolo Lule, the Principal of Bukalasa Agricultural College, welcomed the formation of the new governing council. He noted that the College had been without a council for several months, and this new development would enable the college to address pending decisions for implementation. Lule emphasized that the focus of the college has shifted towards equipping students with practical skills rather than just academic qualifications.
Mr. Willy Ofono Osinde, Principal of the Fisheries Training Institute, highlighted the institution’s commitment to practical training over theory. He revealed plans to refurbish the Fish Processing Laboratory, a move aimed at generating income for the institution and providing students with greater relevance in the market.
Both FTI and BAC have inaugurated Governing Councils consisting of 16 members each. These councils are expected to play a crucial role in shaping the future of agricultural and fisheries education in Uganda.