The ministry of agriculture has decided to take back matters of agricultural extension into its fold by launching a new direct supervisory system where extension workers will be directly supervised by the ministry of agriculture.
The single spine agricultural extension system was launched recently at the ministry of agriculture headquarters in Entebbe. The launch also coincided with the launch of the new Directorate of Agricultural Extension established at MAAIF to coordinate extension service delivery countrywide.
The much-anticipated launch of the new single spine system comes in the wake of widespread outcry among farmers and members of general public about the collapse of the extension system under NAADS.
The creation of a new extension system also comes after last year’s review of NAADS secretariat in which it was decided that NAADS be restructured into a lean secretariat to handle strategic interventions and promotion of value addition technologies as opposed to extension. Since then, service delivery.
A statement by the ministry of agriculture indicates that extension service providers who were previously employed by the ministry of public service, then under NAADS, will have to re-apply for their new jobs under the ministry of public service or face early retirement.
But the creation of a new agricultural extension system is likely to be bogged by deep skepticism from the general public and possible overlap of functions between the new officers and other players in the agricultural sector such as soldiers working under the Operation Wealth Creation.
Prof. Moris Ogenga Latigo, an imminent agricultural researcher, former politician who is now a farmer, is one of the skeptics in the way the government has been running agriculture as a political tool than as a genuine tool for transformation.
“As long as the government still wants to use agricultural extension as a political tool, it will not work.”