There will be a soldier in each constituency under the new cabinet-approved agricultural extension system.
The new arrangement will see deployment of 300 soldiers whose main target is to ensure agricultural inputs under the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) are delivered to the intended people by agricultural technocrats under a new system called the single-spine agricultural system.
A cabinet directive issued to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries directs the ministry to also recruit two other liaison officers to work alongside the army in the new system.
It is understood, that Brigadier Elly Kayanja, formerly of the Operation Wembley, will be the head of the programme.
Our Reporters contacted the army spokesperson Paddy Ankunda, who declined to confirm or deny Kayanja’s appointment.
Explaining the role of the UPDF under the new single spine system, Information Minister Rose Namayanja said the forces will be in charge of making sure that government implements are delivered to their intended parties. Namayanja denied that the UPDF would take over the entire project.
The army committed 300 soldiers to training at Makerere University’s college of Agriculture and Environment from where they studied agricultural engineering, farm enterprise and accounting, crop production and protection, fertiliser use, and poultry management in a record three weeks.
The force of 300 will now be deployed in each of the 238 constituencies to help monitor the single-spine agricultural system.
The force deployment has been greeted with increased budget allocations towards procurement of quality seeds and animal breeding stock and a halt in the recruitment of extension staff at sub-county level.
The NAADS was put in place by an Act of Parliament in 2001 as one of the seven pillars of the Plan for Modernization of Agriculture (PMA).
The primary mandate of NAADS was to provide advisory services that would enable farmers increase total factor productivity. The programme has a vision for 25 years with 7 years for its first phase covering the period from 2001/2002 through 2007/2008 financial years.