Minister Tumwebaze calls on Agriculture technocrats to use ssimplified terms while teaching farmers

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Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, addressed the audience during the World Food Day celebrations at Hotel Africana on June 7, 2023. He emphasized the need for agricultural technocrats to simplify their communication with farmers, using easily understandable terminologies.

The Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Hon. Frank Tumwebaze has called on technocrats in the agriculture sector to use simplified terminologies while teaching farmers to engage in best practices during celebrations of World Food Day at Hotel Africana yesterday on 7th June 2023.

Minister Tumwebaze made the call while addressing farmers’ organizations, civil society and Ago-processing company representatives, during celebrations to mark World Food Safety Day at Hotel Africana in Kampala on Wednesday.

He said many rural farmers apply poor Agriculture and livestock farming practices because the agriculture extension and veterinary officers use technical terminologies, which majority illiterate or semi-literate farmers don’t understand, thereby resulting in poor crop yields or substandard beef and milk production.

“Veterinary officers should be able to advice livestock farmers when to sell animals for slaughter and Agriculture extension officers should be able to give farmers food safety advice, especially in maize, beans, soya and millet among others, without use of technical or scientific terminologies, unknown to majority rural farmers,” he said.

Regarding food safety, minister Tumwebaze said regulation and empowerment of farmers is what is needed. He called on the National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), National Research Organization (NARO) and the Ministry of Agriculture technocrats to work as a team to sensitize farmers on best practices in harvesting, post harvesting and storage of cereals instead of giving instructions and penalties to defaulters of food and Agriculture products’ standards.

During panel discussions, Sekalema Huzeima, the Program officer for Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) Uganda hinted on the challenge of Aflatoxins in Ugandan maize for export, saying Ugandan maize farmers are losing business from exports to neighbouring East Africa Community (EAC) region, where the maize has been rejected.

He called on the Government, through the relevant Ministries, to avail farmers with modern maize storage facilities and sensitize farmers on modern cereals drying techniques.

“Aflatoxins come from fungus which is harmful to human health because farmers dry the maize on bare ground, and it’s the duty of Government to ensure our maize is not rejected in the EAC region.”

Agnes Kirabo, the executive director for Food Rights Alliance, reiterated the need for Ugandans to observe food hygiene, saying many people eat from filthy environments; such us on roadside restaurants, which are prone to diseases such as cholera and typhoid.

She also called on the Government to regulate pesticides used by farmers to spray crops, saying some of these pesticides are poisonous to crops and are the root cause of cancer related infections in humans.

The World Food Safety Day, held on 7 June 2023, was running under the World Health organization theme: “safer food, better health and was aimed at creating awareness and inspiring action to help prevent, detect, and manage food-borne risks and contribute to food security and human health.

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