You reap what you sow,” a man who was buying seeds at container village was heard muttering. This is quite an old saying. However, for easier interpretation, you cannot sow oranges and harvest mangoes.
If you sow poor quality seeds, you certainly will have a poor harvest. “I am going to plant this one seed and try to multiply it into more good seeds,” he said. This man’s action only shows how important a good seed is to a farmer.
And yet, the good seed still eludes the average Ugandan farmer. According to statistics from various groups including the Ministry of Agriculture (MAAIF) and the Uganda Seed Traders Association, only 20% of farmers in Uganda access improved seeds every season. The sector has been dogged by at least 30-40% fake or adulterated seeds.
“The seed is the base of any successful agriculture venture,” Paul Mwambu, the commissioner of crop inspection, and certification in MAAIF. “A good seed increases yields by over 50%, other factors remaining constant, just like a poor seed lowers production by over 50%,” he said.
Mwambu made the remarks while officiating at a function where the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) signed a memorandum of understanding with seventeen seed breeders recently.