NARO boss commends Korean partnership in transforming Uganda’s Agricultural sector

NARO Director General, Dr. Yona Baguma speaking at the High-level Policy Workshop in Seoul, South Korea last month (Photo/Handout)

Seoul, (Korea):- The Director General of Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), Dr Yona Baguma has commended the organisation’s collaboration with the Korean Partnership for Innovation of Agriculture (KOPIA) for driving the country’s agricultural sector towards transformational growth.

Dr Baguma who was speaking at the 15th anniversary of KOPIA in Seoul, South Korea on April 23, 2024, said, “The collaboration was driving sustainable growth, improving livelihoods, and fostering economic development across the country”.

He cited the impressive results among citrus farmers in the Teso sub-region who have experienced a substantial increase in both yield and income over the past few years following the implementation of the Citrus Model Village.

“Farmers annual yield increased greatly by 210% in the year 2021 and continued to increase by 194% in the second year while annual income increased by 208% between 2020 and 2021 and 32.7% between 2021 and 2022,” Dr Baguma revealed.

Similarly, he added, NARO and KOPIA had successfully developed and disseminated fast-maturing and high-yielding aromatic rice varieties such as KAFAC 1 – 39 and NARO Rice 1, which has scaled up the production of rice in Uganda.

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He further revealed that through innovative approaches like polyvinyl mulching technology, potato seed production has been boosted, leading to a considerable increase in both seed supply and farmers’ incomes.

“The supply of quality potato seed increased from less than 150 metric tons to over 500 metric tons, while the potato farmers’ average annual household income has increased to 5,573 USD (about UGX 21 Million),” he said.

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Dr. Baguma re-echoed the government’s commitment to prioritize agriculture as a key driver for improving the well-being of its population because 80% of the Ugandan workforce is engaged in agriculture, mainly comprised of subsistence farmers, and the sector contributes up to 24% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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