The government through the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) will dole out 2,500,000 hoes to vulnerable rural farmers in different regions in the country as one of the initiatives to ensure food security in the country.
According to NAADS, the exercise is a fulfillment of the Presidential pledge of 18 million hoes to 6 million households across the country.
The agriculture agency says it has already acquired the hoes and distribution is ongoing in the regions of West Nile, Teso and Karamoja.
“The distribution of hoes began in 2016/17 with 420,000 hand hoes and an additional 800,000 hoes in 2018/19 to support farming households in eight (8) District Local Governments of Arua, Nebbi, Zombo, Maracha, Yumbe, Adjumani, Moyo and Ngora,” reads a June 7 statement.
“Under the FY 2020/21 Budget, Parliament appropriated an additional Shs30bn for the procurement and distribution of 2,500,000 million hand hoes.”
Most of the food in the country comes from rural smallholder farming households, which is why they are the main beneficiaries.
“This category of farmers has limited access to critical farm inputs including the basic hand hoes, finance among others and mostly depend on individual savings to invest in all their agricultural undertakings, which limits their capacity to increase production,” reads the statement.
“In addition, there are areas in Uganda which make it impossible for farmers to use other improved forms of agricultural implements such as tractors due to the geographical land scape, necessitating the use of rudimentary hand hoes.”
The Executive Director NAADS Dr. Samuel Mugasi says the support is aimed at increasing access to hand hoes by smallholder farmers for purposes of enhancing agricultural production and productivity and to support government’s strategic intervention of enhancing food and nutrition security across the country.
A total of 135 District Local Governments (DLGs) and 41 Municipalities across the country will be served.
Distribution is hinged on population size, land area and poverty levels.
“The allocation formula however takes into account affirmative action considerations; such as the level of farming activities in the respective DLGs/Municipalities; food insecurity conditions in some areas – targeting particular DLGs/Municipalities with critical food insecurity situations such as Karamoja and Teso sub-regions; and existing terrain in terms conduciveness for use of other forms of mechanization/equipment such as tractors – giving priority to mountainous areas,” reads the statement.