Uganda's National Agriculture Research Organisation (Naro) has asked extension workers to increase farmers’ uptake of new technologies to boost productivity. According to Naro deputy director of general agriculture technology promotion, Dr Sadik Kassim, Naro makes research and generates seeds that are resistant to disease and climatic changes, but there is low uptake of the technologies.
The director of research at Kacwekano Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute that falls under Naro, Dr Alex Barekye, said they generate technologies to help farmers increase their productivity, fight hunger, famine, and poverty.
“The rate of uptake of technologies with farmers is low and this affects their productivity. We need to support farmers in that area. We must work with extension workers to reach them,” Dr Barekye said.
The chairperson user committee at Naro, dr Samuel Mugasi, said: “We challenge extension workers to make sure that these technologies are taken out to the farmers. Funding for Naro and research is a problem because we largely rely on donors. We are urging the government to increase funding for Naro. The government has also promised to increase salaries for scientists, but they should also increase the budget for research.”
Dr Mugasi added: “Naro receives about Shs100 billion from the government which is not enough compared to the amount of work being done. Naro has started its own programme called Naro Holdings, which will help generate its own income.’’