Mukono, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | About 22 tractor operators who have completed training at Mukono Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute- MUZARDI are concerned about attaining limited skills in using various tractor tools.
The operators are part of 560 tractor operators undergoing training in different areas of the country ahead of the distribution of 280 tractors procured by Government through the National Agriculture Advisory Services-NAADS and Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries-MAAIF under the agricultural mechanization program.
The operators underwent two week’s training covering tractor driving, maintenance, ploughing and harrowing skills. However, the operators claim that this missed out on attaining skills of using other implements, which are not provided for by NAADS.
These include among others the planter, which is used to sow seeds in the field, boom sprayer for projecting water and harvesters. John Ssemanda, one of the trainees says much as farmer groups are in position to access tractors, they won’t benefit much if they can’t access the remaining tools. Luganda Audio
“The challenge we have faced at training is that some of the implements are not provided, some of my colleagues have just seen them in pictures despite of their importance.”
Dr. Sam Mugasi the Executive Director National Agricultural Advisory Services notes that government has limited funds to supply the additional implements. He advises the beneficiaries of the tractors to save and purchase more implements.
Madrine Nazziwa, an agricultural engineer from MAIIF says it is mechanization alone that can improve productivity and profitability in the agricultural sector.