Kampala. National Agricultural Advisory Services (Naads) will partner with Thailand to promote agricultural mechanisation in order to increase agricultural productivity.
While meeting a delegation of manufacturers last week in Kampala, Dr Samuel Mugasi, the Naads executive director, said agriculture continues to face a number of challenge key among them, lack of modern and affordable agricultural machinery, which limits productivity.
“If the tractors, irrigation and other value addition machinery can be assembled in Uganda, it will reduce cost, save taxpayers’ money and create employment in Uganda,” he said.

The delegation under Thai Federation of Industries, led by the Royal Thai Ambassador based in Nairobi, Kenya Cherdkiat Atthakor, told the meeting that Thailand has a long history of experience in agricultural mechanisation in rice, sugarcane and cassava, noting that they were seeking opportunities in Uganda.
The federation has a membership of 157 manufacturers mainly dealing in agricultural machinery.
The industries mainly specialise in machinery for both farming and value addition to rice, cassava, maize, sugarcane, fish and horticulture produces among others.

Dr Mugasi said there is a big market for agricultural machinery in Uganda, explaining that Uganda was interested in enhancing research in rice varieties and training of extension workers to ensure increased productivity.
Mechanisation of agriculture is top on the agenda of government to increase productivity.
Eng Isaac Kyeyune, the mechanical engineer in charge of agricultural mechanisation at the Ministry of Agriculture, said a small tractor with a capacity of 40 Horse Power with its implements costs Shs70m. Such a tractor can work on a maximum of three acres a day.

iladu@ug.nationmedia.com