According to the National Fertilizer Policy of 2016, Uganda loses 80 kilogrammes of soil nutrients per hectare annually, which results in low crop yields.
The policy also highlights that farmers only apply between one to 1.5 kilogrammes of fertilizers, which makes Uganda one of the countries with the least fertilizer application rate in the world.
The situation is exacerbated by substandard fertilizers on the market, and lack of knowledge on the use and application among farmers, which a partnership between Yara East Africa, a fertilizer manufacturing company, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Agra) and Kilimo Trust, maize farmers grouping from selected districts is seeking to address.
The support, according to Dr John Jagwe, the Agra country manager, will be channeled through Agra’s supported implementing partners including Kilimo Trust, working with a network of farmers, organised in farmer associations and cooperatives.
Under the arrangement, Dr Jagwe said each farmer will receive 100 kilogramme of maize specific fertilizers accompanied by training on how to apply them.
Agra has already commissioned a fertilizer expert to tag along the distribution exercise, which will see 712 metric tonnes of fertilizers distributed to 7,120 smallholder maize farmers.
“We expect the maize yield to increase by over 50 per cent using fertilizers. We are going to track the impact of these fertilisers on farmer yields,”Dr Jagwe said.
The first beneficiaries, according to Dr Jagwe, will be Zirobwe Agaliaamu Agribusiness Training Association, a farmer group supported by Kilimo Trust through the Regional East African Community Trade in Staples.
At least a total 712 metric tonnes of fertilizers will be distributed to 7,120 smallholder maize farmers in selected districts across the country.