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09/2016. Our contribution to the agriculture sector; the opportunity within JASAR 2016

BY MARILYN KABALERE, Advocacy Officer img_8437 The Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) convened the 6th Joint Agricultural Sector Annual Review (JASAR) on 29th and 30th August 2016 at Speke Resort Munyonyo under the theme: ‘Enhancing Agricultural Productivity for Job Creation’. Rooted in the African Union’s Malabo declaration and CAADP Mutual Accountability principle, the JASAR is an annual Platform which brings together all stakeholders in the agriculture sector to review sector performance; set policy and budget priorities for the proceeding financial year; and hold all stakeholders accountable for their actions, impacts and results. This year the event brought together all agriculture sector players including government, ministries, departments and agencies as well as non-state actors, NGOs, farmers, farmers organisations, professional associations, private sector, academia, media and development partners to review the performance of the sector. MAAIF has been conducting the JASAR since 2011, this year’s JASAR was different it had a regional JASAR in Mukono district on 18th and 19th August where some of the affiliate farmers to our members including CAPCA, VEDCO, JEEP and Send a Cow that are within the Central region shared experiences and the recommendations from this regional JASAR ultimately informed the National JASAR. The issues that kept emerging from every submission were;
  • Climate change challenges – participants asked for the finalization of the Irrigation Policy
  • Need for coordination between MAAIF and other sectors like land and water
  • Quality of agricultural inputs- Under this MAAIF noted that they would ensure the process of formulating the counterfeit law, would enforce labeling of seeds, share a toll free line, develop guidelines for those supplying seeds and will ensure that the agricultural police do their work.
  • Need for logistical support for recruited extension workers so that they are not redundant in offices.
  • Need to support cooperatives in the country
  • Need for more dialogue between MAAIF and research institutions on research areas for example on GMOs that many participants needed to know including the farmers and the district officials that attended.
This regional JASAR was an opportunity for farmers to share their experiences and concerns that indeed informed the national JASAR on 29th and 30th August 2016. Good enough these issues had already been included in the Non State actors JASAR statement paper. Having participated in this review, we hope that the overall recommendations for JASAR will inform the sector plans and priorities, just like In 2015 where the recommendations made by Non State Actors were welcomed and taken up by government including Agricultural extension policy reforms; reforms in input provision and increase of budget funding to the sector
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Some of the smallholder farmers that participated in the JASAR side event organised by Oxfam in Uganda and her partners

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