On 22nd January, FRA held a Non State Actors (NSAs) consultative meeting to reorganize and strategize for the National Consultative meeting on the Agriculture Extension Policy that is to be held on Monday 25th January 2016.
The overall objective of the undertaking was to garner contributions and commitment from the NSAs to the development of the National Agriculture Extension Policy. Participants shared ideas to be incorporated in the policy, strategized and harmonized a NSA engagement strategy, and developed a NSA position that shall be used as a CSOs/NSAs negotiation tool in the policy process.
Since 2013, Uganda has been undertaking policy and institutional re-forms in AEAS directed at enhancing agricultural competitiveness through increased effectiveness and relevance of AEAS. Through these reforms, government proposed to integrate NAADS into the main public Extension System to form the Single Spine. This was approved by cabinet in the Financial Year 2013/2014. However, it has remained a non-funded priority since.
The implementation of the Single Spine is under way with Ministry of Agriculture setting specific targets to be met within a spell of three consecutive financial years. These among others included: establishment of the directorate of Agricultural Extension in the ministry of agriculture which has been effected, operationalizing the Directorate and recruitment of staff.
In order to make constructive contribution to this process, the Non State Actors working Group on Access to Agriculture Extension in Uganda under the leadership of Food Rights Alliance (FRA) has undertaken several activities that include among others commissioning three technical papers: i) Trends Analysis on the Evolution of the Extension System in Uganda, ii) An Evaluation and Assessment of the Institutional, Policy and Legal frameworks fostering and anchored on Agricultural Extension in Uganda, and iii) A Contextual Analysis of the Global dynamics surrounding Agricultural Development and other dynamics that impact on Agricultural Extension. The Group has also held radio programmes, open debates and high level dialogues to discuss and influence the reforms process.