Contribution of NAADS programme to rural farmers in Bukedea District
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The National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) Program of Uganda is one of the pillars of Plan for Modernisation of Agriculture (PMA) implemented since 2001. This study was undertaken to assess the contribution of NAADS Programme to rural farmers in Bukedea District in regard to food security, fostering of market oriented farming, commercialization, and farmer institutional development as well as influencing adoption of new technologies and farming methods. The methodology used in this study was both qualitative and quantitative employing a comparative approach of the status quo before the programme was introduced in Bukedea. Results revealed that the program in Bukedea has a substantial positive impact on promoting adoption of new crops and livestock enterprises as well as improving adoption and use of modern agricultural production technologies and practices. It has helped farmers to avoid large declines in farm income that affected most farmers between the years 2000 to 2004. This has been by introducing them to profitable new farming enterprises like groundnuts, maize and rice than increases in productivity. It has also promoted adoption of improved varieties of crops and yield enhancing technologies. The findings further indicated that NAADS implementation in Bukedea had significant improvement in the farmers output from the average of 977.3Kgs to 1,170.5Kgs before and after NAADS respectively. The study also indicated that, there was significant increase in the tilted acreage as 34.4 percent of the total respondents showed positive increase in acreage from 16.7 percent before NAADS. This is however far below average implying need for more support to farmers in Bukedea District.