Alebtong, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Alebtong District Local government has received 18 additional tractors under a government initiative to transit from subsistence to commercial farming.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries, and Fisheries launched the distribution of hand-held tractors and other agricultural implements in the district in November, last year and piloted the program in the eight sun counties of Abako, Amugo, Omoro, Angetta, Adwir, Awei, Amugu, and Amugu Town Council, where each received a tractor.
Subsequently, the ministry has delivered an additional 14 hand-held tractors which will be distributed to all the 10 sub-counties and four town councils in the district. The ministry also delivered four-wheeled tractors to Amugo Agro Technical Institute.
Samuel Baramaga Mujunga, the Principal of the Institute is optimistic that the equipment will facilitate agricultural production at the school.
He said the same equipment will be available for farming by interested community members.
Ajuri County MP Denis Hamson Obua said the initiative is aimed at shifting farmers from subsistence farming to commercial agriculture.
For most farmers, working with tractors is the desirable way to till chunks of land and earn a sizeable profit. But the cost of tractors holds back the dreams of smallholder farmers.
David Kennedy Odongo, the Alebtong District chairperson believes that the tractors will increase production in an area whose production was low due to the usage of poor farming methods.
He, however, wants the government to provide more equipment to help in the implementation of the four-hectare model.
Meanwhile, Alebtong Resident District Commissioner Gillian Akullo warned communities against misusing the tractors saying culprits will face the law.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 80 per cent of Uganda’s land is arable but only 35 per cent is being cultivated. However, in 2022/23, agriculture accounted for only about 24 per cent of GDP and 35 per cent of export earnings.