Parliament Approves Additional UGX 50bn for Extension Workers

Members of Parliament have approved an additional funding of Shillings 50 billion to the Agriculture Ministry to enable recruitment and facilitation of extension workers.
Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah steering the plenary session.

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Parliament has approved an additional funding of 50 billion shillings to the Ministry of Agriculture to enable recruitment and facilitation of extension workers.

The approval follows the adoption of the Agriculture Committee report presented by the Abim Woman MP Okori-Moe Janet in a plenary session chaired by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah.

Okori-Moe, the Chairperson of the Agriculture committee told parliament that her committee noted the inadequate agricultural extension services across the country. She cited the farmer to extension ratio at 1:1800 yet the recommended ratio is 1:500

She said that the inadequate extension services have undermined the role of extension in Agriculture leading to poor or low yields.

“Besides the recruited extension workers have not been well facilitated to enable them perform their roles effectively. The Committee notes that the 5,000 recruited extension staff were for only 116 districts and the districts have since increased to 128 an addition of 12 districts and 94 sub-counties,” said Okori-Moe.

According to the committee, government has allocated only 8.65 billion shillings to agriculture extension in the next financial year out of the required 71 billion shillings.  In the current financial year 2018/2019, 4 billion shillings was provided for extension workers.

The committee recommended that the Finance Ministry avails additional Shillings 50.05 billion to cater for the wage requirement to enable the Ministry of Agriculture complete the recruitment and facilitation of the much-needed extension workers.

Okori-Moe also recommended that government ensures a full recruitment of extension workers at both district and sub-county level to provide knowledge to the farmers with an aim of increasing quality production.

The Agriculture committee also observed that the extension workers are not adequately supervised and therefore operate with a laissez-faire attitude.

“There must be strict assessment of the performance of the extension workers upon which their service should either be retained or terminated basing on the set targets. Ministry of Agriculture should liaise with the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) to develop a clear feedback on work targets achieved by each extension worker in a given period,” Okori-Moe recommended.

Meanwhile, Okori-Moe demanded that government pays more attention to the Agriculture Sector saying that more reforms need to be put in place to enable the country’s economy to grow.

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