In an enormously candid and hard-hitting interview in yesterday’s Sunrise, Feed the Future’s Uganda coordinator Andrew McKim let it rip with regard to Uganda’s failing agricultural policy framework:
McKim blamed the Ugandan government’s failure to crack down on counterfeit seed as a major roadblock that frustrates farmers as well as seed companies from investing in the sector.
“Seeds is one of the most important concerns for farmers.”McKim adds: “But counterfeit seed are widespread and it’s heart-breaking for a farmer to prepare his land and invest in [counterfeit] seed. Seeds are high priority for farmers and the private sector.”
Experts argue that improved seeds are a major factor influencing total agricultural output. In Uganda however, according to McKim, only 6% of farmers use improved seeds, something that ensures farmers get limited output.
A year ago, when I started writing about Seed Counterfeiting in Uganda, it was a fringe-of-the-fringe topic. Now, high ranking USAID officials are putting it at the center of their message to the Ugandan government. This is enormously encouraging from my point of view. His little rant made me happier than anything about seed ought to!