KAMPALA, 11th October 2013 – The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), today signed a $5million support from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands (EKN) to start a project entitled: “Policy Action for Sustainable Intensification of Ugandan Cropping Systems (PASIC)”.
PASIC will strengthen the capacity Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) in setting up policies and actions for sustainable agricultural intensification to boost the production of small-holder farmers to improve their food security and livelihoods and contribute to the country’s overall economic development.
PACIS will also carry out research in two zones – the south western Highlands for
Irish potatoes and the Lake Kioga plains in Eastern Uganda for rice. In these zones, population pressure is high, farm sizes are small (less than 2 ha), and the options to put new land into production are rather limited and therefore traditional farming is no longer sustainable.
At the signing event, His Excellency Mr Alphons Hennekens, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Uganda, noted that the country needs to devise sustainable ways to ensure that it is able to match its food production to the rapidly increasing population.
“The inevitable solution lies in the intensification of cropping systems by using fertilizers, improved seeds, good agronomic practices and attracting investors for buying farmers’ produce,” he said.
“PASIC will generate vital knowledge and evidence for decision makers to plan public investments and attract responsible private entities. Results from rigorous scientific evaluation will be critically discussed with farmers, the business people, and local and national decision makers to prioritize action and guide the development of the agriculture sector,” said Piet Van Asten, IITA Country Representative in Uganda.
The Honorable Tress Bucyanayandi, MAAIF Minister, welcomed the initiative. “Through sustainable intensification of cropping systems, PASIC directly contributes to increased rural incomes and household food security, the two objectives of our Development Strategy and Investment Plan (DSIP)”, he said.
The 4 year project will be managed by IITA in partnership with MAAIF, as the lead agency guiding public agricultural development efforts in the country; the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC), the leading policy think-tank in Uganda, and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
IITA is one of the world’s leading research partners in finding solutions for hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. Their award-winning research for development (R4D) approach addresses the development needs of tropical countries.
IITA works with partners to enhance crop quality and productivity, reduce producer and consumer risks, and generate sustainable wealth from agriculture. The non-profit organization was founded in 1967, is governed by a Board of Trustees, and supported by several countries.
IITA is a member of CGIAR – a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future.
More details at www.iita.org