It is reported that President Museveni has resolved that NAADS should cease to exist given that a lot of funds have been lost under NAADS undertaking. If this is so, what will happen to ATAAS?
Below is a description of Agricultural Technology and Agribusiness Advisory Services (ATAAS):
Agricultural Technology and Agribusiness Advisory Services (ATAAS) a 5 – year agricultural project undertaking started in December 2011. It is a $665m undertaking set to benefit farmers of Uganda. ATAAS is funded by the Government of Uganda together with Development Partners. The total project cost including contingencies is US $ 665.5m, of which Government of Uganda is committed to provide US $ 497.3 m; with the rest provided as a loan arrangement, including IDA US $ 120.00m, IFAD US $ 14.00m, EU US $ 20.00m, DANIDA $ 7.00m and GEF US $ 7.2m.
The ATAAS project is fully aligned with the Development Strategy and Investment Plan (DSIP) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF). Its strategic focus is consistent with the National Development Plan (NDP) and DSIP objectives of agricultural growth, commercialization and poverty reduction. The DSIP provides a ‘roadmap’ to guide government, the private sector, farmers’ organizations and Development Partners to make public interventions that will help meet the key objectives of growth, food security and poverty reduction in the agricultural sector.
The DSIP focuses on two Development Objectives namely: Rural incomes and livelihoods increased; and Household food and nutrition security improved. Its immediate Objectives are: Factor productivity (land, labour, capital) in crops, livestock, and fisheries sustainably enhanced; Markets for primary and secondary agricultural products within Uganda, the region and beyond developed and sustained; Favourable legal, policy and institutional frameworks that facilitate private sector expansion and increased profitability along the entire value chain developed; and MAAIF and Agencies functioning as modern, client – oriented organizations within an innovative, accountable, supportive environment.
ATAAS will enhance agricultural productivity, diversification and value addition, and promote public - private partnerships (PPPs) in service delivery and agri-business development. The project will also promote Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices, strengthen the institutional capacity of NARO, NAADS, and MAAIF, modernize information technology at NARO and NAADS, and employ new information and communication technology (ICT) tools.
Agricultural Technology and Agribusiness Advisory Services Project (ATAAS)’s objective is to increase the agricultural productivity and incomes of participating households by improving the performance of agricultural research and advisory services, while enhancing environmental sustainability and resilience to climate risks and land degradation. Formulation of the project has been informed by lessons learnt from implementation of the second Agricultural Research and Training Project (ARTP II) as well as the first phase of the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS Phase 1). It seeks to address the weak linkage between the different actors involved in agricultural research and development in Uganda.
The project puts special emphasis on the need for stronger institutional linkages between technology generation, dissemination, adoption and markets as well as sustainable management of land and other natural resources. It has been developed within a broad framework of an Agricultural Innovation System (AIS) that among others, embraces the value chain approach. Its project goals and objectives are incorporated in the project design that has five components which are: Developing Agricultural Technologies and Strengthening the National Agricultural Research System; with the objectives of component being to develop agricultural technologies through research, and to strengthen agricultural research institutions, the second component is Enhancing partnerships between agricultural research, advisory services, and other stakeholders; with the objectives being to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of technology development and dissemination by supporting closer linkages between National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), and other stakeholders, the third component is Strengthening the National Agricultural Advisory Services NAADS) with the objectives being to support Improved Delivery of Demand - Driven and Market - Oriented Advisory Services to farmers to promote their progression from subsistence to market-orientation, Component four is Supporting Agribusiness Services and market linkages; the objective being to promote integration of smallholders in value chains by supporting collaboration between agribusiness, farmers, advisers, and researchers to create viable, sustainable market and agribusiness linkages and the fifth component being Program Management; whose objective is to support the NARO and NAADS Secretariat’s to ensure: Efficient execution of administrative, financial management, and procurement functions; Coordination of project activities among various stakeholders; Implementation of safeguard measures mandated by the Government of Uganda and International Development Association (IDA); and an effective use of the joint monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems established under component two.