National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) is a government of Uganda programme under the Plan for Modernization of Agriculture (PMA), which has been designed to redress past shortcomings in agricultural extension. It is in line with the government policy of liberalisation, privatization and decentralization.
NAADS was launched in greater Lira in FY 2002/2003 in five sub counties. Greater Lira then comprised of Lira, Amolatar, Dokolo,Alebtong and Otuke districts. In the last four years, NAADS has expanded to cover all the 24 sub counties in the entire greater Lira. In the first 2 years 7 sub counties were brought on board. In 2005/2006- Amolatar was granted a district status and Lira lost 4 sub counties (Aputi, Awelo, Muntu, and Namasale), in 2006/2007, Dokolo county was curved out from Lira and Lira remained with 15 sub counties (Abako, Adwari, Adekokwok, Aloi, Amach, Amugu, Apala, Aromo, Barr, Lira, Ogur, Okwang, Olilim, Omoro, and Orum) . 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 otuke (Orum,Okwang,Olilim and adware subcounties) and alebtong (Apala,Abako,Amugu,Aloi and omoro subcounties) were curved out of lira district.
NAADS goal is to increase agricultural productivity for profitable agricultural production and improved household income.
NAADS mission is “increased farmers access to knowledge, information and technology for a profitable agriculture”.
A number of technologies like; sunflower, upland rice, groundnuts, sorghum (epuripur), animal traction, apiary, boar goats, and citrus amongst others have been promoted with a good degree of success.
The farmer institutions i.e. farmer fora have been empowered to manage and control NAADS programme so that they (farmers) can uplift their social status by engaging in farming as a business.
This coming year NAADS is focusing on increasing access to market information and market, technology inputs, enterprise mix, food security, agribusiness and market Linkages. Revolving fund scheme (Integrated Support to Farmer Groups-ISFG) as well as linkage of farmer groups to rural agricultural credit will be top on the agenda.
Currently, NAADS has covered all the sub counties in Lira district. The sub counties are: – Agweng, Adekokwok, Amach, Aromo, Barr, Lira, Ogur and Omoro are 9-year old sub counties; Adekokwok 7-year old, while the sub counties of Barr, Lira are 5 years old. New sub counties that were brought on board in the FY 2008/2009 were Adyel.,Ojwina,Railways and Central Divisions.The sub counties of Agali and Ngetta are newly created 2009/10and will be operational in FY2011/12.
Orientation and Stakeholders education: – NAADS has educated the stakeholders (district councillors, farmers, private sector and technical staff) on the NAADS programme objectives, principles and programme implementation. Most stakeholders are aware of the NAADS programme. The programme educated stakeholders in the new sub counties.
NAADS institutional structures are in place, that is, the farmer groups, farmer fora, lower local governments as well as the district local government. The capacity of the institutions (PCCs, CBFs, and FGs) to handle the programme and the level of awareness have greatly improved. 892 farmer groups have registered and have been empowered to manage NAADS. The interim farmer fora, executive farmer fora and procurement committee are in place.
There is high level of participatory planning and monitoring under the guidance of NGOs and technical staff.
Quite a number of technologies and advisory contracts have been signed at the sub county level,
31 performance based contracts were signed. Farmer institutional development services contracts are yet to be implemented in all the 11 sub counties. These contracts are being technically audited by SMS at every agreed stage to ensure value for money as per the outputs.
One of the NAADS principles is mainstreaming gender and HIV/AIDS related issues: – Gender and HIV/AIDS is being actively mainstreamed into the NAADS programme. The Terms of Reference to service providers and NGOs normally includes gender and HIV/AIDS related issues. NAADS Lira has recruited an intern specifically to handle these issues.