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Uganda Prisons Stuck With 700 Metric Tonnes Of Seeds. :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Uganda Prisons Stuck With 700 Metric Tonnes Of Seeds.

Emiku tells this committee that last season, NAADS only took 29metric tonnes of maize seeds leaving them stuck with at least 700metric tonnes. He says he fears the failure to supply these seeds leaves them wasted.
Uganda prison farm at Ruimi where metric tonnes of maize seed is stuck

Audio 3

The Uganda Prison Services is stuck with at least 700 metric Tonnes of seeds produced last season for supply through the National Agricultural Advisory services under Operation Wealth Creation.

A few years ago, Uganda Prisons Services abandoned growing of grain for Seed production. However, after President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni ordered them to resume production.

Uganda prison farm at Rwimi which initially produced grain to feed inmates around the country is now a big time seed producers .

It however undertook seed production and abandoned grain production. Last season, Uganda prison produced 760 metric tonnes of hybrid maize seeds.

Samuel Baker Emiku, the Under Secretary Uganda Prison Services on Friday told Members of Parliament on Agricultural Committee currently monitoring seed companies around the country that they decided to focus on seed production on orders of President Museveni.

Emiku tells this committee that last season, NAADS only took 29metric tonnes of maize seeds leaving them stuck with at least 700metric tonnes. He says he fears the failure to supply these seeds leaves them wasted.

Emiku says Naads has been their biggest disappointment because when they launched seed production, President Museveni promised that they would procure their seeds. He however notes that NAADs only takes small amounts.

He explains that following the poor seeds distributed to farmers which failed to germinate sparking off poor crop yields in 2014, President Museveni advise them to start better seed production.

Emiku says they are also in talks with the Finance Ministry to fund procurement of a seed processing plant to avoid hiring.

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Members of Parliament on this committee have promised to probe why these seeds were not supplied.

MP Robert Migadde, the Committee Vice Chairperson wondered why less seeds are distributed through NAADS yet they are cheaper compared to other seed companies.

Seeds from Uganda Prisons are UG500shillings less than those bought from other companies. There are at least 30 registered seed companies.

Government also buys seeds from Equator Seeds limited, Pearl Seeds and Victoria Seeds among others who sale theirs between UG2500shillings a kilogram and UG3500shillings.

MP Herold Muhindo of Bukonzo East also wonders why Government of Uganda invests money in seed production at Uganda Prison farm but cannot procure 100% of the seeds from there.

Muhindo, also a member of this committee says there is  great potential for Uganda prisons services to produce required seeds for Ugandans.

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MP Noah Mutebi Wanzala also member wonders the rationale of buying expensive seeds from other seed companies leaving government agency produced cheaper seeds.

Muutebi says there should be a problem.

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This season, Uganda Prisons Services targets to produce more metric tonnes of seeds after expansion from at least 500 acres to 1000 acres.

It is not clear why NAADS declined to procure all these seeds from Uganda Prisons Services and supply them through Operation Wealth Creation. Gen Salim Saleh, the National Coordinator Operation Wealth Creation could not be reached for a comment.